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#PwDsVote Campaign Questionnaire: Call to Action

Washington, Sept. 7 – With just 61 days until Election Day, RespectAbility is calling on all candidates for governor or Senate to complete the #PwDsVote Senate & Gubernatorial Disability Questionnaire.“PwDs” stands for “people with disabilities.” So far, Hillary Clinton and 15 candidates for Senate or Governor from both parties have done so. Now we’re calling on you to help to encourage the remainder. A number of candidates, including Donald Trump, have yet to fill out a nonpartisan candidate questionnaire on issues vital to America’s 56 million citizens with disabilities!

Call and tweet candidates and demand that they respond to the questionnaire. Tell them why it’s important to you!

This is the first time down-ballot candidates have been asked to complete a questionnaire about disability-related issues on such a wide scale. Why are we focusing on candidates for governor and U.S. Senate? The reason is simple. We hope that voters who care about disability issues will have the opportunity to compare how the candidates responded to the same questions in their own words.

The questionnaire itself has been written in a way that is acceptable for 501c3 nonprofits, is nonpartisan and is not electioneering. RespectAbility is nonpartisan and does not endorse candidates. The questionnaire is purely for educational purposes.

The linked Excel list  (shown below with some information as well) includes candidates’ email addresses, phone numbers, appropriate contact person (where we could identify) and Twitter handles. When a candidate responds, the spreadsheet is updated in real-time to include a link to their responses that have been posted on The RespectAbility Report.

Early voting starts soon, and many members of the disability community vote absentee. The responses will be used for individualized state voter guides presenting answers from all candidates in their Senate and/or gubernatorial races. The RespectAbility Report also will be covering these races from a disability angle throughout the political season.

Sample Tweets (replace @ with the candidate’s Twitter handle):

  • @ Please fill out @Respect_Ability’s #PwDsVote disability questionnaire: We’re 20% of country!
  • @ Don’t ignore 1-in-5 Americans! Fill out @Respect_Ability’s #PwDsVote disability questionnaire:

Non-Twitter Options

Call the candidates’ HQ or email their campaign office. Please find a table of contact information below, which is accurate as of Tuesday, September 6. The linked Excel document will be updated in real-time as candidates submit more responses or new contact information is shared.


Email Lauren Appelbaum:

Text in image: #PwDsVote 2016 Senate and Gubernatorial Disability Questionnaire, mage in background - two individuals at voting booths, one in a wheelchair and one using a white cane

Governor Races
(As of September 6, 2016 – will be updated throughout season)

State  Name Email Address Twitter Handle Response
Delaware – R Colin Bonini @colinbonini
Delaware – D John Carney @john_carney
Delaware – R Lacey Lafferty @laceylefferty
Indiana – D John Gregg @GreggForGov
Indiana – R Eric Holcomb @HolcombForIN
Missouri – R Eric Greitens @EricGreitens
Missouri – D Chris Koster @Koster4Missouri
Montana – D Steve Bullock @BullockForMT
Montana – R Greg Gianforte @GregForMontana
New Hampshire – D Mark Connolly @MarkConnollyNH
New Hampshire – D Derek Dextraze @derekdeztraze
New Hampshire – R Frank Edelblut @EdelblutForGov
New Hampshire – R Jeanie Forrester @JeanieForrester
New Hampshire – R Ted Gatsas @gatas4governor
New Hampshire – R Jon Lavoie
New Hampshire – D Steve Marchand @marchandsteve
New Hampshire – R Chris Sununu @ChrisSununu
New Hampshire – D Colin Van Ostern @ColinVanOstern
North Carolina – D Roy Cooper @roycoopernc
North Carolina – R Pat McCrory @PatMcCroryNC
North Dakota – R Doug Burgum @DougForDakota
North Dakota – D Marvin Nelson @nelsonfornd
Oregon – D Kate Brown @KateBrownForOR
Oregon – R Bud Pierce @BudPierce4Gov
Utah – R Gary Herbert @HerbertForUtah
Utah – D Mike Weinholtz @mikeforutah
Vermont – D Sue Minter @SueMinterVT
Vermont – R Phil Scott @philscott4vt
Washington – R Bill Bryant @BillBryantWA
Washington – D Jay Inslee @JayInslee
West Virginia – R Bill Cole @BillColeWV
West Virginia – D Jim Justice @justiceforwv

Senate Races
(Candidates as of September 6, 2016 – will be updated throughout season)

State Name Email Address Twitter Handle Response
Alabama – R Richard Shelby @SenShelby
Alabama – D Ron Crumpton @Crumpton_US_Sen
Alaska – R Lisa Murkowski @lisamurkowski
Alaska – D Ray Metcalfe @Ray4AKSenate
Arizona – R John McCain @TeamMcCain
Arizona – D Ann Kirkpatrick @ann_kirkpatrick
Arkansas – R John Boozman @boozman4AR
Arkansas – D Conner Eldridge @connerforar
California – D Kamala Harris @KamalaHarris
California – D Loretta Sanchez @Loretta2016
Colorado – D Michael Bennet @BennetForCO
Colorado – R Darryl Glenn @darrylglenn2016
Connecticut – D Richard Blumenthal @SenBlumenthal
Connecticut – R Dan Carter @dancarterct
Florida – D Patrick Murphy @PatrickMurphyFL
Florida – R Marco Rubio @marcorubio
Florida – R (lost primary) Dwight Young @dy4senate2016
Georgia – R Johnny Isakson  @JohnnyIsakson
Georgia – D Jim Barksdale @jimbarksdale
Hawaii – D Brian Schatz @brianschatz
Hawaii – R John Caroll @carroll4senate
Idaho – R Mike Crapo @crapo4senate
Idaho – D Jerry Sturgill @sturgill4idaho
Illinois – D Tammy Duckworth @tammyforIL
Illinois – R Mark Kirk @markkirk
Indiana – D Evan Bayh @EvanBayh
Indiana – R Todd Young @ToddYoungIN
Iowa – R Chuck Grassley @ChuckGrassley
Iowa – D Patty Judge @pattyforiowa
Kansas – R Jerry Moran @moranforkansas
Kansas – D Patrick Wiesner @wiesner4senate
Kentucky – R Rand Paul @RandPaul2016
Kentucky – D Jim Gray @grayforKentucky
Louisiana – R Charles Boustany @cboustanyjr
Louisiana – D Foster Campbell @campbellforLa
Louisiana – R Joseph Cao
Louisiana – D Caroline Fayard @FayardforSenate
Louisiana – R John Fleming @FlemingforLA
Louisiana – R John Kennedy @JohnKennedyLA
Louisiana – R Rob Maness @RobManess
Louisiana – R Abhay Patel @patelforLA
Louisiana – D Josh Pellerin
Maryland – R Kathy Szeliga @KathyforMD
Maryland – D Chris Van Hollen @VanHollenForMD
Missouri – R Roy Blunt @RoyBluntMO
Missouri – D Jason Kander @JasonKander
Nevada – R Joe Heck @heck4nevada
Nevada – D Catherine Masto @catherinefornv
New Hampshire – R Kelly Ayotte @KellyAyotte
New Hampshire – D Maggie Hassan @Maggie_Hassan
New York – D Chuck Schumer @chuckschumer
New York – R Wendy Long @wendylongny
North Carolina – R Richard Burr @burrforsenate
North Carolina – D Deborah Ross @deborahrossnc
North Dakota – R John Hoeven @hoeven4senate
North Dakota – D Eliot Glassheim @eliot4nd
Ohio – R Rob Portman @robportman
Ohio – D Ted Strickland @Ted_Strickland
Oklahoma – R James Lankford @jameslankford
Oklahoma – D Mike Workman @workmanistan
Oregon – D Ron Wyden @wydenfororegon
Oregon – R Mark Callahan @callahan4oregon
Pennsylvania – D Katie McGinty @KatieMcGintyPA
Pennsylvania – R Pat Toomey @PatToomey
South Carolina – R Tim Scott @votetimscott
South Carolina – D Thomas Dixon @dixonforsenate
South Dakota – R John Thune @johnthune
South Dakota – D Jay Williams @jay4senate
Utah – R Mike Lee @MikeLeeforUtah
Utah – D Misty Snow @mistyksnow
Vermont – D Patrick Leahy @patrickleahy
Vermont – R Scott Milne @milneforvt
Washington – D Patty Murray @MurrayCampaign
Washington – R Chris Vance @chrisvance123
Wisconsin – D Russ Feingold @russfeingold
Wisconsin – R Ron Johnson @ronjohnsonwi

These are the questions RespectAbility submitted to the campaigns. They also provided each candidate with a 10-page resource guide to help with answering these questions. View it here:

Please first start by answering YES or NO regarding if you have a plan/answer on this issue or not. Then include specific details of your plan up to 250 words for each answer. In addition, if you have more to say on an issue, please link back to the appropriate place on your website for people to learn more.

  1. Do you have designated advisors and clear processes for making decisions on disability issues? If yes, please describe.
  2. Is your campaign accessible and inclusive to people with disabilities? If yes, please describe.
  3. Do you have a proven record on improving or a plan to improve the lives of people with disabilities? If yes, please describe.
  4. Do you have a plan/commitment to reduce the stigmas about people with disabilities that are barriers to employment, independence and equality? If yes, please describe.
  5. Do you have a proven record on enabling, or a plan to enable, people with disabilities to have jobs, careers and to start their own businesses? Do you have specific strategies for youth employment for people with disabilities and/or sector strategies such as jobs and careers in STEM, hospitality, healthcare and elder care? If yes, please describe.
  6. Do you have a plan to enable students with disabilities, including those from historically marginalized communities and backgrounds, to receive the diagnosis, Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and accommodations/services they need to succeed in school and be prepared for competitive employment? If yes, please describe.
  7. Do you have a plan to reform the benefits system (Medicaid, Medicaid buy-in) to enable people with disabilities to work to the best of their capacities without losing supports they need to work? If yes, please describe.
  8. Do you have a plan to ensure people with disabilities are eligible for affordable health insurance regardless of pre-existing conditions? If yes, please describe.
  9. Do you have a plan to provide home and community-based services to people with disabilities who would rather live in their own homes instead of institutions, and have the community attendant supports they need to work? If yes, please describe.
  10. Do you have a plan to ensure that individuals with disabilities receive services that would prevent them from being swept up into the criminal justice system, divert individuals with disabilities who are arrested to treatment options in lieu of jail where appropriate, receive needed accommodations in the criminal justice process and while incarcerated, and offer appropriate re-entry support to help individuals with disabilities leaving jails and prisons re-integrate into their communities and secure jobs? If yes, please describe.
  11. People with disabilities are twice as likely to be victims of crime as those without disabilities. People with disabilities also are far more likely to suffer from police violence, partially because manifestations of disability can be misunderstood as defiant behavior. Do you have a plan to address these issues? If yes, please describe.
  12. Both children and adults with disabilities are more likely to be victims of rape or sexual assault. Do you have a plan to address this issue? If yes, please describe.
  13. Do you have a plan for veterans with disabilities facing barriers transitioning from active duty to civilian employment? If yes, please describe.
  14. Do you have a plan for accessible, affordable, integrated housing to allow people with disabilities to live in the communities where they work or are seeking work? If yes, please describe.
  15. Do you have a plan to address the lack of accessible transportation options that is a barrier to work for people with disabilities? If yes, please describe.
  16. Do you have a plan to advance innovations (i.e., assistive technologies, devices) that can help people with disabilities become more successfully employed, productive and independent? If yes, please describe.
  17. (SENATORS ONLY) In your foreign policy and national security plan, do you plan to continue America’s tradition of standing up for the rights of oppressed people, including people with disabilities, around the world? If yes, please describe.
Published in2016 Candidate QuestionnaireCongressGovernorsHow-ToSenate

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