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Candidates Talk About their Plans for Employment and People with Disabilities

Washington, Nov. 2 – While 72 percent of Americans without disabilities are employed, only 32 percent of Americans with disabilities are. However, two-thirds of Americans with disabilities report that they want to work and are unable to find a job. Some of the barriers to work people with disabilities encounter are a lack of sufficient education or training, employer or coworker attitudes, and the need for job accommodations.

People with disabilities are particularly underrepresented in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), which are where the fastest growing careers are located. Barriers to higher education for people with disabilities along with inaccessible laboratories and workshops are two reasons why STEM fields are particularly lacking in employees with disabilities. Despite these barriers, people with disabilities have made significant contributions to the STEM fields. The White House recently honored 14 people with disabilities working in STEM fields as Champions for Change, showing the capabilities of people with disabilities if they are given access to all fields of employment.

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Where do Candidates Stand on Healthcare for People with Disabilities?

Washington, Nov. 2 – A key topic of conversation in the political campaign is the Affordable Care Act, known to many as “Obamacare.” One of the goals of the Affordable Care Act was to ensure that people with pre-existing conditions (like a disability) are able to afford health insurance and receive proper care. The Affordable Care Act made it illegal for health insurances to not accept a person regardless of pre-existing conditions. The Arc of Opportunity has additional information for individuals with disabilities seeking health insurance.

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Disability & Foreign Policy: What are Senate Candidates’ Positions?

Washington, Nov. 1 – America is known for its history of standing up for people who are oppressed around the world. As that tradition moves forward, it includes the rights of people with disabilities.

The nonpartisan, nonprofit disability organization RespectAbility asked candidates running for Senate about their foreign policy and national security plans to continue America’s tradition of standing up for the rights of people with disabilities around the world as part of its #PwDsVote Disability Questionnaire. Every candidate was given an equal opportunity to respond and if they are not listed, it is because they declined to answer.

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Veterans & Disability: What are the Candidates’ Positions?

Washington, Nov. 1 – As veterans complete their service to their country, they require employment to sustain a living, provide a place to live and contribute as they reenter civilian life. There are currently 495,000 veterans who are unemployed. Many of them need job training and/or psychological counseling for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). There are 3.8 million veterans with a disability. In Iraq and Afghanistan, 50,000 troops received significant injuries, 2.6 percent of whom had a major limb amputation. Of the approximately 2.7 million veterans who served in either Iraq or Afghanistan, nearly 20 percent have PTSD. In 2016 so far, 352,619 soldiers have been diagnosed with PTSD.

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Candidates Discuss Plans for America’s Assistive Technology Industry

Washington, Nov. 1 – The technology industry in the United States is growing, with 200,000 jobs added to the industry in 2015, bringing the total of U.S. tech industry workers up to 6.7 million. This growth provides ample opportunity for innovation in the field of assistive technology.

Assistive technology promotes greater independence by enabling people to perform tasks that they were formerly unable to accomplish, or had great difficulty accomplishing, by providing enhancements to, or changing methods of interacting with, the technology needed to accomplish such tasks.

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Where do Candidates Stand on Police Violence and Crime Against People with Disabilities?

Washington, Oct. 31 – Nearly half of all people killed by police in the U.S. have a disability. Yesterday Terrance Coleman, a black man with paranoia and schizophrenia, was shot and killed by two police officers in Boston. Coleman’s mother had called for an ambulance to take her son to a hospital and the police officers arrived to accompany the EMTs. They shot him when he refused to leave with the EMTs; there are conflicting reports if Coleman had touched a knife that was on a nearby kitchen table.

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Candidates Discuss Plans for Students with Disabilities

Washington, Oct. 31 – Only 65 percent of youth with disabilities graduate high school, 19 percent less than students without disabilities, found a White House study earlier this month. Youth who do not graduate high school are more likely to be involved in the criminal justice system and have a more difficult time entering the workforce.

More than 6.5 million students in public education receive services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), including special education or other accommodations to help them succeed. Studies have shown, however, that students in higher education have a harder time accessing proper accommodations.

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Unveiling 51 State Voter Guides

Washington, Oct. 27 – While the presidential election has taken up much of the news cycle, attention also is shifting to who will control the Senate. As such, RespectAbility has reached out to candidates running for Senate as well as Governor in the 2016 elections with the #PwDsVote Disability Campaign Questionnaire for Senate and Gubernatorial Candidates for people with disabilities.

RespectAbility, founded in 2013, is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to end stigmas and advance opportunities for people with disabilities. Utilizing candidate responses to both the down ballot and presidential campaign questionnaires, RespectAbility has released 51 state voter guides.

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North Carolina’s Senate & Gubernatorial Races Offer Opportunity to Highlight Disability Rights

Washington, Oct. 21 – As voters get ready to head to the polls in North Carolina, RespectAbility has released its North Carolina Disability Voter guide for the upcoming senate, gubernatorial and presidential races.

Democrat hopeful Deborah Ross is challenging incumbent Republican Sen. Richard Burr for the Senate seat representing North Carolina. Both candidates completed the #PwDsVote Disability Campaign Questionnaire for Senate and Gubernatorial Candidates for people with disabilities. However, both candidates running for governor, Atty. Gen. Roy Cooper and incumbent Gov. Pat McCrory, have not yet responded.

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New Mexico’s Disability Voters Guide Released

Washington, Oct. 21 – As voters get ready to head to the polls in New Mexico, RespectAbility is releasing its New Mexico Disability Voter Guide for the upcoming presidential election. Democrat Hillary Clinton is the only presidential candidate to have completed the #PwDsVote Disability Campaign Questionnaire.

The #PwDsVote 2016 Campaign Questionnaires were designed by and for people with disabilities (PwDs) and those who love them to know where candidates stand on key issues. RespectAbility is nonpartisan and does not endorse candidates. The questionnaires are purely for educational purposes as voters go to the polls.

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North Carolina’s Linda Coleman Completes #PwDsVote Campaign Questionnaire

Washington, Oct. 21 – RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization working to empower people with disabilities to achieve the American dream, has asked Senate and gubernatorial candidates on both sides of the aisle to fill out a questionnaire on disability issues. Other down ballot candidates who requested a copy of the questionnaire also were invited to complete it. Democrat Linda Coleman, who is challenging Republican incumbent Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, completed the questionnaire. Forest also was sent a copy but has not responded yet.

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North Carolina’s Bruce Davis Completes #PwDsVote Campaign Questionnaire

Washington, Oct. 21 – RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization working to empower people with disabilities to achieve the American dream, has asked Senate and gubernatorial candidates on both sides of the aisle to fill out a questionnaire on disability issues. Other down ballot candidates who requested a copy of the questionnaire also were invited to complete it. Commissioner Bruce Davis, a Democrat running to represent North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District in Congress, completed the questionnaire. His opponent, incumbent Republican Rep. Ted Budd, also was sent a copy but has not responded yet.

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Jill Stein Talks Disability Rights in Texas

Washington, Oct. 20 – Until recently, when searching for where Green Party candidate Jill Stein stood on key disability issues, there are a number of pieces about her supposed views about vaccines and their link to autism, but little else was found. Multiple disability organizations have asked Stein to complete two different nonpartisan presidential questionnaires, but she has not yet done so. Hillary Clinton has completed both the #PwDsVote and REVUP questionnaires, while Donald Trump has completed the REVUP questionnaire.

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Hawaii’s Senate Race Offers Opportunity to Highlight Disability Rights

Washington, Oct. 19 – As voters get ready to head to the polls in Hawaii, RespectAbility has released its Hawaii Disability Voter Guide for the upcoming senate and presidential races. Republican John Carroll, who is challenging incumbent Democrat Sen. Brian Schatz, as well as presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, has completed the #PwDsVote Disability Campaign Questionnaire for people with disabilities. Hawaii’s 159,475 citizens with disabilities now have a chance to read Carroll’s responses and understand where he lies on certain issues. RespectAbility is still awaiting responses from Brian Schatz and will publish them verbatim if and when they are received.

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Delaware’s Gubernatorial Race Offers Opportunity to Highlight Disability Rights

Washington, Oct. 19 – As voters get ready to head to the polls in Delaware, RespectAbility has released its Delaware Disability Voter Guide for the upcoming gubernatorial and presidential races. Republican state Sen. Colin Bonini and Democratic Rep. John Carney are competing to become Delaware’s next governor. Whomever wins will have big shoes to fill as current Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, who is term limited, is a hero to the disability community. Markell was awarded recognition by RespectAbility this summer for his leadership nationally in creating more job opportunities for people with disabilities.

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Washington, D.C., Disability Voters Guide Released

Washington, Oct. 19 – As voters get ready to head to the polls in Washington, D.C., RespectAbility is releasing its Washington, D.C.,’s Disability Voter Guide for the upcoming presidential election. Democrat Hillary Clinton has completed the #PwDsVote Disability Campaign Questionnaire, but Republican Donald Trump has yet to do so.

The #PwDsVote 2016 Campaign Questionnaires were designed by and for people with disabilities (PwDs) and those who love them to know where candidates stand on key issues. RespectAbility is nonpartisan and does not endorse candidates. The questionnaires are purely for educational purposes as voters go to the polls.

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Virginia Disability Voters Guide Released

Washington, Oct. 19 – As voters get ready to head to the polls in Virginia, RespectAbility is releasing its Virginia’s Disability Voter Guide for the upcoming presidential election. Democrat Hillary Clinton has completed the #PwDsVote Disability Campaign Questionnaire, but Republican Donald Trump has yet to do so.

The #PwDsVote 2016 Campaign Questionnaires were designed by and for people with disabilities (PwDs) and those who love them to know where candidates stand on key issues. RespectAbility is nonpartisan and does not endorse candidates. The questionnaires are purely for educational purposes as voters go to the polls.

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Texas Disability Voters Guide Released

Washington, Oct. 19 – As voters get ready to head to the polls in Texas, RespectAbility is releasing its Texas Disability Voter Guide for the upcoming presidential election. Democrat Hillary Clinton has completed the #PwDsVote Disability Campaign Questionnaire, but Republican Donald Trump has yet to do so.

The #PwDsVote 2016 Campaign Questionnaires were designed by and for people with disabilities (PwDs) and those who love them to know where candidates stand on key issues. RespectAbility is nonpartisan and does not endorse candidates. The questionnaires are purely for educational purposes as voters go to the polls.

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Illinois Senate Race Offers Opportunity to Highlight Disability Rights

Washington, Oct. 18 – As voters get ready to head to the polls in Illinois, RespectAbility has released its Illinois Disability Voter Guide for the upcoming senate and presidential races. Democrat Tammy Duckworth, who is challenging incumbent Republican Sen. Mark Kirk, as well as presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, all have completed the #PwDsVote Disability Campaign Questionnaire for people with disabilities. The race between the two senate candidates is unique, as both candidates have a disability.

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Washington’s Senate & Gubernatorial Races Offer Opportunity to Highlight Disability Rights

Washington, Oct. 18 – As voters get ready to head to the polls in Washington, RespectAbility has released its Washington Disability Voter Guide for the upcoming senate, gubernatorial, and presidential races. Republican Bill Bryant is challenging incumbent Democrat Gov. Jay Inslee while Republican Chris Vance is challenging incumbent Sen. Patty Murray for the Senate seat. Bryant, as well as presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, has completed the #PwDsVote Disability Campaign Questionnaire for people with disabilities. Inslee, Murray and Vance have not completed the questionnaire.

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