Washington, Jan. 30 – RespectAbility has released its first #PwDsVote 2016 Campaign Questionnaire for people with disabilities (PwDs).
“Fully one-out-of-five voters have a disability, and 52 percent of likely voters have a loved one with a disability. There are 56 million Americans with disabilities, and we have the ability to determine who wins or loses elections,” RespectAbility President Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi said. “In the early voting states there are 357,730 people with a disability in Iowa, 166,258 PwDs in New Hampshire, 680,038 PwDs in South Carolina and 357,035 PwDs in Nevada. Our community will play a major role in the outcome of this election, and it is vital for us to know where the candidates stand on our issues.”
RespectAbility is nonpartisan and does not endorse candidates. The questionnaire is purely for educational purposes as voters go to the polls and caucus.
The questionnaire asked all of the presidential candidates on both sides of the aisle to comment on 16 disability questions. Former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders filled out all of the questions and former Gov. Jeb Bush filled out almost all of the questions. While there are three candidates who answered the questions very thoroughly, they have dramatically different ideas about how to deal with the issues.
“It’s extremely important to read their full answers so that you can understand their important differences,” Mizrahi added.
Issues in the detailed questionnaire include employment, stigma, education, safety, transportation, housing, healthcare, foreign affairs and other issues. Several of the candidates did not yet take the time to fill out the questionnaire, but Dr. Ben Carson and Gov. Chris Christie filled out parts of the questionnaire.
RespectAbility invites all of the candidates to complete the questionnaire in the days ahead in order to convey their policies and connect with voters with disabilities. RespectAbility will release a New Hampshire questionnaire before that pivotal primary. The questionnaire is being distributed to more than 50,000 people who care about disability issues, more than ten thousand of whom live in the early primary states and the heads of more than 100 national disability organizations, many of whom will share with their own lists. RespectAbility also is placing online ads sharing the questionnaire.