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Tag: campaign

Sen. Sanders Pledges to “Champion Expanding the Rights of People with Disabilities”

Sanders Campaign Only One to Have Dedicated Page on Website for Disability Rights Washington, D.C., May 28 – Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is no stranger to the presidential primary campaign. As he did in 2016, his campaign has a dedicated page on their website for disability issues. While some of the…

Examining Representative Eric Swalwell’s Record on Disability Issues

Washington, D.C., May 26 – Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA 15) has joined more than 20 Democratic candidates vying for the presidential nomination. When it comes to how he could help people with disabilities, it is important to note that he is a cosponsor on several pending pieces of legislation that…

Marianne Williamson Has a History of Advocating for the Chronically and Terminally Ill

Washington, D.C., May 25 – In late January, Oprah’s spiritual adviser and best-selling author of self-help books, Marianne Williamson, announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination for President. Her campaign is much akin to a self-help book for the country, in which she aims to “heal the soul of America”…

Presidential Hopeful Rep. John Delaney Supports Independence for People with Disabilities

Rockville, Maryland, May 18 – John Delaney, the former Democratic Representative for Maryland’s 6th District until January 2019, announced his intention to run for President in 2017, making him the first declared candidate in the race. Since being elected to Congress in 2012, Delaney neither introduced nor cosponsored any bills…

Julián Castro’s Message of “People First” Includes People with Disabilities Too

Washington, D.C., May 16 – Julián Castro (D-TX), the former Mayor of San Antonio and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under the Obama Administration, has had a campaign that emphasizes the importance of putting “People First,” a clear jab at President Donald Trump’s “America First” doctrine. However, since…

Presidential Hopeful Kirsten Gillibrand Intentional about Inclusion of People with Disabilities

Washington, D.C., May 14 – New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is fighting to be the first woman elected President of the United States. But she has pledged to fight for people with disabilities as well. Gillibrand might not have a disability herself, but she has recognized that for a presidential…

Presidential Hopeful Andrew Yang Advocates for Early Intervention in Autism

Washington, D.C., May 10 — In November of 2017, Andrew Yang, the son of Taiwanese immigrants and an entrepreneur from New York, entered the 2020 Presidential campaign. Yang, the author of the “War on Normal People,” is running on the idea that average Americans are ill-equipped to survive in our economy, where there is increasing levels of income inequality.

His campaign, like his book, discusses the economic impact of workplace automation and our options for the future, including the idea of instituting a Universal Basic Income (UBI) of $1,000 per month to every American. He calls it the “Freedom Dividend,” and believes it will spur the economy and level the income inequality.

Andrew Yang smiles for the camera
photo credits: WJLA

Many of the issues he describes, from workforce automation to income inequality, strikes at the heart of the disability community, and Yang would be well-served to include them in the conversation of “normal” Americans. Indeed, according to the CDC, people with disabilities comprise 25 percent of our country’s adult population, and more than half of Americans have a loved one with a disability. A recent survey shows that fully three-quarters of likely voters either have a disability themselves or have a family member or a close friend with disabilities. Thus, for a presidential candidate to represent all Americans, he must include people with disabilities.

Presidential Hopeful Cory Booker Fights for Equal Justice for All, Including People with Disabilities

Washington, D.C., May 7 – On the first day of African American history month, Sen. Cory Booker announced his campaign for President. Booker is the first African-American U.S. Senator from New Jersey and the 36th Mayor of Newark, but he is not the average politician. He is an Ivy League educated policy wonk and bachelor, who holds celebrity status for his social media presence and famous actress girlfriend, Rosario Dawson, best known for her part in the movie “Rent.” While voters find him charismatic and experienced, in a crowded field he has failed to perform that well in the polls.

If Booker hopes to improve his position in the polls, he must represent all Americans, including people with disabilities, who are politically active swing voters. People with disabilities comprise 25 percent of our country’s adult population, and more than half of all Americans have a loved one with a disability. A recent survey shows that fully three-quarters of likely voters either have a disability themselves or have a family member or a close friend with disabilities.

Ensuring Disability Inclusion Through Equal Access

Booker stands behind a podium at a presidential campaign rally
photo credits: Observer

For a presidential campaign to be fully inclusive of people with disabilities, it needs to meet the following requirements: (1) offer captioning with every video it shares or produces, (2) mention people with disabilities and their issues, (3) depict people with visible disabilities in its media, (4) reach out to the disability community, and (5) provide accessible campaign events and website.

Booker announced his presidential campaign with a colorful, creative and exciting announcement video on social media that incorporated a black marching band drum line. The video had fantastic and accurate open captioning that only failed to caption the upbeat drum line background music. However, he made no mention of people with disabilities nor depicted any Americans with visible disabilities. And the videos he has since released make these same mistakessometimes even failing to include captioning at all. Thus, he has missed the opportunity, thus far, to have a fully disability inclusive video campaign.

Further, his website says, “Cory is leading the fight for equal justice for all Americans.” However, while his website mentions and depicts diversity in race, gender and sexual orientation, it does not mention or depict people with disabilities once. True diversity exists only if people with disabilities are included, and a candidate cannot represent all Americans if he is excluding 20-25 percent of them.

Joe Biden Runs for President to Bring a Democracy That Serves Everyone, Including People with Disabilities

Washington, D.C., May 4 – When former Vice President Joe Biden threw his hat into the race for President of the United States, he became the 20th Democratic candidate to run for president in the 2020 election. He immediately led in most national and early primary state polls. When analyzing…

Presidential Hopeful Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s Record Proves “Amy for America” Means Americans with Disabilities Too


Washington, D.C., April 9 – Senator Amy Klobuchar, the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate from Minnesota is running with the slogan, “Amy for America.” People with disabilities comprise 20 percent of our country’s population, and more than half of Americans have a loved one with a disability. A…