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The RespectAbility Report Posts

“Policy is Personal” Says Senator Elizabeth Warren in New Disability Rights Plan

Washington, D.C., Dec. 2 – Under the banner headline of “Fighting for an Accessible and Inclusive America,” Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren pledges she “will always fight for the full inclusion of people with disabilities.” The presidential candidate’s thorough plan to address disability rights highlights both her record of advocacy in areas such as employment and education while also pledging major actions on health care and inclusion. Her disability rights plan concludes by making it clear that this “policy is personal.” 

Mayor Buttigieg Prioritizes Mental Health and Suicide Prevention at Disability Forum

Noting High Intersection Between Disability and LGBTQ+ Communities, Buttigieg Addresses Bullying Epidemic

Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Nov. 26 – The 2020 Democratic Presidential Primary is heating up, and in recent polls, Mayor Pete Buttigieg has been surging in Iowa. Earlier this month, he released a comprehensive plan for the disability community and rolled it out at a Democratic Party Candidate Forum, Accessibility for All, on disability issues in Cedar Rapids. This forum was the first time in the 2020 campaign cycle that disability issues were the main topic of discussion.

As a veteran, he placed a particular emphasis on mental health and suicide prevention, saying that “the place we need to get to as a country is where it is as routine to talk about and act on mental health issues as we would a physical challenge.” Mental health is the most common disability that people in America have, so Mayor Buttigieg’s emphasis on it was notable.

Seven Democratic Campaigns Prioritize Disability Issues in Accessibility for All Forum

Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Nov. 24 – Earlier this month, seven presidential campaigns made history together as they participated in a Democratic Party forum, Accessibility for All, focused on issues affecting people with disabilities. This is the first time this campaign season that a forum was held specifically on this topic.…

8 Democratic Campaigns Participate in Forum Focused on People with Disabilities and Health Care

Washington, D.C., Nov. 1 – Tomorrow in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, eight campaigns are set to participate in a history-making Accessibility, Inclusion, and Outreach Conference focused specifically on issues that affect people with disabilities. This is important, as while recent polling suggests that voters with disabilities themselves are more enthusiastic about participating in the 2020 elections than the nation at large, none of the campaigns are yet fully accessible to the disability community.

“It is vital for the democratic process to be open to all people and all means all – including people with disabilities,” said Lauren Appelbaum, vice president, communications of RespectAbility. “The majority of voters have a friend or family member with a disability or have a disability themselves. It is truly exciting that eight campaigns will be focusing their attention on addressing the 1-in-5 people living in America with a disability.”

Seven of the Democratic candidates will participate themselves. They are:

  • Sen. Cory Booker 
  • Mayor Pete Buttigieg
  • Rep. John Delaney
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar
  • Rep. Beto O’Rourke
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders
  • Mr. Andrew Yang 

Additionally, former Sen. Chris Dodd will speak on behalf of Vice President Joe Biden.

According to “Accessibility For All Now,” the organizers of the Forum, candidates will answer questions posed by people with disabilities and members of the Linn County Medical Society, which is co-hosting the forum. 

Sen. Booker Calls Disability Rights “An Important Issue”

Washington, D.C., Oct. 24 – At a presidential campaign fundraiser on Capitol Hill last night, Sen. Cory Booker said disability rights is “an important issue.” Speaking to members of The RespectAbility Report, he stated he has and is going to have a lot of policies relating to disability rights coming out.

“We have more to do to ensure equality for Americans with disabilities who still face high poverty rates & barriers to health care & quality of life,” Cory Booker tweeted in commemoration of the 29th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) this summer. “As president, I’ll fight for equal rights & inclusion for people with disabilities.”

Buttigieg Stresses Importance of Including Disability Community in Policy Decisions

Washington, D.C., Oct. 12 – When presidential candidates include senior staff and advisors with disabilities, with the same effort as other marginalized populations, they are exposed to a variety of thoughts and ideas. Mayor Pete Buttigieg proved that during a recent interview with The New Republic when he noted the…

Majority of Voters Have Disability Connections

85% of voters find it very or somewhat important that presidential candidates have campaign events and websites that are open and accessible to people with disabilities, just like everyone else. 73% of voters are more likely to support candidates for elected office who will make ensuring that children with disabilities…

Klobuchar’s Plan for Veterans Includes Focus on Mental Health and Other Disabilities

Washington, D.C., Oct. 8 – Presidential hopeful Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s new plan for veterans pays specific attention to veterans with disabilities, highlighting “inadequate mental health and addiction services.” According to the U.S. Census, 3.8 million veterans have a service-connected disability, which is a result of a disease or injury incurred…

Vote with our Voice – National Voter Registration Day

Washington, D.C., September 24 – Voting is a constitutional right. Voting enables us to shape the government in a way that represents the diversity of the United States. According to the Census Bureau, every 1 in 5 Americans has a disability – making this group one of the largest marginalized populations…

Buttigieg Calls For Full Funding of IDEA, Equipping Teachers with Resources to Support Students with Disabilities

Washington, D.C., Sept. 19 – Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) may not have a long legislative record for voters to examine on various issues but he showed his knowledge of legislation regarding education for children with disabilities during an interview with the progressive organization Supermajority Tuesday. 

Responding to a question from the mother of an 18-year-old student with autism, Buttigieg called for more attention to be paid to IEPs [individualized education plans] and for full funding of IDEA – the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which has yet to be fully funded since it was first passed in 1975. IDEA covers kids from birth through high school graduation or age 21, whichever comes first. Autistic students who need special education to make progress in school are supposed to be covered by IDEA. 

Biden Pledges To Ensure Full Website Accessibility

Rockville, Maryland, Sept. 18 – At a campaign event in Maryland, former Vice President Joe Biden was asked to comment on the fact that his website is still not accessible to people who are blind or have low-vision. Biden responded that “it’s important. I thought it had been fixed.” He…

Presidential Candidates Discriminate Against Voters with Disabilities

Four Candidates – Biden, Booker, Warren, Yang – Have Made Substantial Improvements in Website Accessibility Washington, D.C., Sept. 12 – Nearly three months after a report by the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired found that all of the presidential candidates’ websites block democratic access to voters who are blind…

Harris Calls for Empowering “Ignored” Communities, Stresses Environmental Justice, During CNN Climate Town Hall

New York City, Sept. 5 – Sen. Kamala Harris called for environmental justice to empower “ignored” communities during the climate town hall on CNN. Carson Tueller, a man with a spinal cord injury who has thermodysregulation, leaving his body unable to control its own temperature and unable to sweat, asked…

Plastic Straw Ban Becomes Topic of Debate During CNN Climate Town Hall

New York City, Sept. 4 – For more than a year now, disability advocates have admonished the plastic straw ban, because it is clear the policy was enacted without the involvement of people with disabilities, some of whom need plastic straws to survive.  During the CNN Climate Town Hall, Sen. Kamala…

Kamala Harris Aims to Expand Economic Opportunity for Americans with Disabilities

Washington, D.C., August 29 – Presidential hopeful Sen. Kamala Harris is calling for expanded “economic opportunity and security for people with disabilities” in a plan unveiled today. She points out that just one-third of people with disabilities who are working-age are employed, compared to three-quarters of those without disabilities in the same age range.

Sen. Harris’ plan focuses on ways to “eliminate barriers that make it harder for people with disabilities to fully participate in our workforce.” One-in-four adults in the United States today have a disability and just 37 percent of those who are ages 18-64 are employed. This means that out of more than 20 million working-age people with disabilities, just 7.5 million have jobs. 

Her plan includes six parts:

Joe Biden, Cosponsor of the ADA, Pledges to Fully Break Down Barriers for People with Disabilities

Washington, D.C., July 30 – In celebration of the 29th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Joe Biden tweeted Friday that he was “proud to have cosponsored the Americans with Disabilities Act” and thanked Sen. Harkin for his “vision & persistence” to ensuring its passage, “a critical step in the fight…

On ADA Anniversary, Cory Booker Pledges to Ensure Equality for People with Disabilities

Washington, D.C., July 30 – “We have more to do to ensure equality for Americans with disabilities who still face high poverty rates & barriers to health care & quality of life,” Cory Booker tweeted in commemoration of the 29th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) on Friday. “As president, I’ll fight…

Kamala Harris Campaign Launches Americans with Disabilities Leadership Council on Anniversary of the ADA

Washington, D.C., July 30 – Kamala Harris, who held an hour-long call with her supporters in commemoration of the 29th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) on Friday, wrote a blog post “recommitting to build an America that is fully inclusive and accessible for everyone,” noting that there is still a lot…

Andrew Yang Personally Thankful for 29th Anniversary of the ADA

Washington, D.C., July 30 – “For 29 years Americans with disabilities have had a greater sense of dignity and respect,” Andrew Yang tweeted in commemoration of the 29th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) on Friday. “More work to be done but my family is thankful for the ADA.” Yang is the…

On ADA Anniversary, Gillibrand Calls for Making Society Accessible for All

Washington, D.C., July 30 – “29 years ago, the Americans with Disabilities Act codified protections against discrimination based on disability,” Kirsten Gillibrand tweeted in commemoration of the 29th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) on Friday. “My presidency will advance this fight, including having disability community representation in my Cabinet. Let’s keep…