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Gov. Kasich Gets Personal on Autism

Washington, June 25 – During Gov. John Kasich’s speech at the Road to Majority Conference on Friday, he talked about the importance of embracing people with disabilities. He stated that people on the Autism spectrum should very much have access to healthcare without bankrupting their families. As someone on the Autism spectrum, I recognized the importance of this statement, especially since so few elected officials talk about it. Although the number of people diagnosed on the Autism spectrum is growing in droves, it is an issue that still is often not adequately addressed by our public officials or business leaders.

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Bernie Sanders: People with Disabilities Must Have All Opportunities

Davenport, Iowa, June 23 – While disability issues are not yet hot-button topics in the presidential campaign, they are becoming more prominent. When The RespectAbility Report’s Liz Seffrin asked Sen. Bernie Sanders about a specific plan to increase competitive integrated employment for people with disabilities in America, he promised to work on the issue.

“I have worked with the disability community in my own state,” Sanders said at a town hall in Davenport, Iowa on May 28, 2015. “People with disabilities must have all of the opportunities possible open to them from an educational point of view and from an employment point of view. So I promise you we will work on that issue.”

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John Kasich: “We Leave No One Behind”

Washington, June 19 – When Gov. John Kasich discussed his plan to grow jobs, he not only listed the need to do so for the poor and minorities but also for people who are mentally ill or developmentally disabled.

“As we grow jobs, we leave no one behind,” Kasich said Friday at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority Conference. “If you are mentally ill, we’re not locking you up in prison if we can avoid it. We want to treat you and we want you to be on your feet with your God-given purpose.”

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Jeb Bush Highlights Autism at Road to Majority Conference

Washington, June 19 – By highlighting a young woman with autism who is unable to speak or walk in the video “Making a Difference,” Gov. Jeb Bush brings attention to an important group of Americans.

“Not being able to speak is not the same as not having anything to say,” Berthy De La Rosa-Aponte of Cooper City, Fla., explains in the video shown Friday at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority Conference. “People with disabilities, they want freedom, just like anybody else.”

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RespectAbility: Empowering People with Disabilities to Achieve the American Dream

Washington, June 17 – Fully one-in-five Americans have a disability and polls show that most of them want to work. Yet 70 percent of working-age Americans with disabilities are outside of the workforce. This leads to poverty and costs taxpayers billions of dollars in disability benefits.

America has 56 million people with disabilities, more than 20 million of whom are working age. More than 50 percent of Americans report having a family member or close friend with a disability. Fifty-two percent of Democrats report that they or a loved one have a disability, and for Republicans, a smaller number of 44 percent report they have a disability. Surprisingly, Independents have the largest number of voters who say they have a disability, with 58 percent saying yes. This shows that swing voters with disabilities and their families are up for grabs.

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Jeb Bush Reaches out on Disability Issues

Washington, April 16 – Former Governor Jeb Bush, who has not yet officially announced his candidacy for the president of the United States, joined Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant to celebrate the Equal Opportunity for Students with Special Needs Act passed by the Mississippi Legislature earlier this year. Bryant had previously made Mississippi an Employment First state for people with disabilities, declaring that employment is the first priority and preferred outcome for people with disabilities.

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Clinton Video Skips People With Disabilities

Washington, April 13 – Yesterday the Hillary Clinton campaign released its launch video, which included many different individuals and families who represented diversity in America. But nowhere in the video could you see anyone with a disability. This is a key voting group across America, including the four first voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.

In response, Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, president of RespectAbilityUSA.org, a national non-partisan organization advocating for America’s 56 million people with disabilities, said, “Fully one-in-five Americans have a disability and the majority of voters have a loved one with a disability. We urge Hillary Clinton and all the other presidential candidates to focus on jobs for people with disabilities. We want to be included in the ‘Opportunity Agenda!’”

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