Manchester, NH, Dec. 28 – At a briefing organized by RespectAbility last week on the disability vote, several campaigns sent their New Hampshire state directors and other representatives. Gov. Martin O’Malley sent two individuals – his N.H. State Director John Bivona and his son William, who was in town for the Democratic primary debate a few days earlier.
O’Malley is just one of three campaigns, along with the Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush campaigns, to have met with RespectAbility in all of its state-specific meetings in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada – showing that he is interested in having a strong relationship with disability groups.
“This has definitely been a big issue of his, not only now that he’s been on the campaign trail, but you can look at his record back in Maryland,” O’Malley’s oldest son William said while attending the briefing on behalf of his father’s campaign. “It’s been a mission for him to include people with different obstacles in the economy, and that’s one thing that he can say that not many other people running on either side can say.”
In O’Malley’s home state of Maryland, 622,682 people have a disability. Of those who are of working age (18-64), 40 percent are employed, which is higher than the national average. According to the most recent Annual Disability Statistics Compendium, Maryland increased employment of people with disabilities by .5 percent from 2012 to 2013.
Eighty-nine percent of O’Malley’s campaign videos on his official YouTube channel have captions. However, the captions used are the automatic captions that often are riddled with mistakes.
William O’Malley said he’d like his father’s campaign to change that. He said he’d pass along the idea to ensure that all of O’Malley’s videos have correct subtitles and closed captioning. “That’s a great idea,” he said. “I actually love that.”