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Call to Action: #PwDsVote Campaign Questionnaire

Washington, Sept. 30 – With just 38 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 30 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!

The down-ballot responses received so far are from candidates on both sides of the aisle – with 18 from Democrats and 12 from Republicans, demonstrating how disability rights is a nonpartisan issue. The responses also are geographically-diverse, coming from states all around the country.

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. The answers to these questionnaires are being posted on The RespectAbility Report and will be used for individualized state voter guides.

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 respond 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
Email and call the candidates’ HQ or email their campaign office. Please find a table of contact information below, which is accurate as of Thursday, September 29. The linked Excel document will be updated in real-time as candidates submit more responses or new contact information is shared.

Share a Post on Facebook:
30 Senate and gubernatorial candidates have responded to the #PwDsVote Senate & Gubernatorial Disability Questionnaire so far! Help RespectAbility encourage all candidates to respond so we can learn more about their views on issues for people with disabilities. (link to post:

* Please tag RespectAbility when you post to Facebook

Email Lauren Appelbaum:

RespectAbility and TheRespectAbilityReport are nonpartisan and do not endorse candidates. The questionnaire is purely for educational purposes.

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 29, 2016 – will be updated throughout season)

State  Name Email Address Twitter Handle Response
DE – R Colin Bonini @colinbonini
DE – D John Carney @john_carney
IN – D John Gregg @GreggForGov
IN – R Eric Holcomb @HolcombForIN
MO – R Eric Greitens @EricGreitens
MO – D Chris Koster @Koster4Missouri
MT – D Steve Bullock @BullockForMT
MT – R Greg Gianforte @GregForMontana
NH– D (lost primary) Derek Dextraze @derekdeztraze
NH – R Chris Sununu @ChrisSununu
NH – D Colin Van Ostern @ColinVanOstern
NC – D Roy Cooper @roycoopernc
NC – R Pat McCrory @PatMcCroryNC
ND – R Doug Burgum @DougForDakota  DECLINED TO RESPOND
ND – D Marvin Nelson @nelsonfornd
OR – D Kate Brown @KateBrownForOR
OR – R Bud Pierce @BudPierce4Gov
UT – R Gary Herbert @HerbertForUtah
UT – D Mike Weinholtz, @mikeforutah
VT – D Sue Minter @SueMinterVT
VT – R Phil Scott @philscott4vt
WA – R Bill Bryant @BillBryantWA
WA – D Jay Inslee @JayInslee
WV – R Bill Cole @BillColeWV
WV– D Jim Justice @justiceforwv

Senate Races
(As of September 26, 2016 – will be updated throughout season)

State Name Email Address Twitter Handle Response
AL – R Richard Shelby @SenShelby
AL – D Ron Crumpton @Crumpton_US_Sen
AK – R Lisa Murkowski @lisamurkowski
AK – D Ray Metcalfe,
AZ – R John McCain @TeamMcCain
AZ – D Ann Kirkpatrick @ann_kirkpatrick
AR – R John Boozman @boozman4AR
AR – D Conner Eldridge @connerforar
CA – D Kamala Harris @KamalaHarris
CA – D Loretta Sanchez @Loretta2016
CO – D Michael Bennet @BennetForCO
CO – R Darryl Glenn @darrylglenn2016 DECLINED TO RESPOND
CT – D Richard Blumenthal @SenBlumenthal
CT – R Dan Carter @dancarterct DECLINED TO RESPOND
FL – D Patrick Murphy @PatrickMurphyFL
FL – R Marco Rubio @marcorubio
FL – R (lost primary) Dwight Young @dy4senate2016
GA – R Johnny Isakson  @JohnnyIsakson
GA – D Jim Barksdale @jimbarksdale
HI – D Brian Schatz @brianschatz
HI – R John Caroll @carroll4senate
ID – R Mike Crapo @crapo4senate
ID – D Jerry Sturgill @sturgill4idaho
IL – D Tammy Duckworth @tammyforIL
IL – R Mark Kirk @markkirk
IA – R Chuck Grassley @ChuckGrassley
IA – D Patty Judge @pattyforiowa
KS – R Jerry Moran @moranforkansas
KS – D Patrick Wiesner @wiesner4senate
KY – R Rand Paul @RandPaul2016
KY – D Jim Gray @grayforKentucky
LA – R Charles Boustany @cboustanyjr DECLINED TO RESPOND
LA – D Foster Campbell @campbellforLa
LA – R Joseph Cao
LA – D Caroline Fayard @FayardforSenate
LA – R John Fleming @FlemingforLA
LA – R John Kennedy @JohnKennedyLA
LA – R Rob Maness @RobManess DECLINED TO RESPOND
LA – R Abhay Patel @patelforLA
LA – D Josh Pellerin
MD – R Kathy Szeliga @KathyforMD
MD – D Chris Van Hollen @VanHollenForMD
MO – R Roy Blunt @RoyBluntMO
MO – D Jason Kander @JasonKander 
NV – R Joe Heck @heck4nevada
NV – D Catherine Masto @catherinefornv
NH – R Kelly Ayotte @KellyAyotte 
NH – D Maggie Hassan @Maggie_Hassan
NY – D Chuck Schumer @chuckschumer
NY – R Wendy Long @wendylongny
NC – R Richard Burr @burrforsenate
NC – D Deborah Ross @deborahrossnc
ND – R John Hoeven @hoeven4senate DECLINED TO RESPOND
ND – D Eliot Glassheim @eliot4nd
OH – R Rob Portman @robportman
OH – D Ted Strickland @Ted_Strickland
OK – R James Lankford @jameslankford
OK – D Mike Workman @workmanistan
OR – D Ron Wyden @wydenfororegon
OR – R Mark Callahan @callahan4oregon
PA – D Katie McGinty @KatieMcGintyPA
PA – R Pat Toomey @PatToomey
SC – R Tim Scott @votetimscott
SC – D Thomas Dixon @dixonforsenate
SD – R John Thune @johnthune
SD – D Jay Williams @jay4senate 
UT – R Mike Lee @MikeLeeforUtah
UT – D Misty Snow @mistyksnow
VT – D Patrick Leahy @patrickleahy
VT – R Scott Milne @milneforvt
WA – D Patty Murray @MurrayCampaign
WA – R Chris Vance @chrisvance123
WI – D Russ Feingold @russfeingold
WI – R Ron Johnson @ronjohnsonwi

The images below, which show the 50 states of the United States, are color-coded according to the responses we have received:

  • Green if all candidates in the race have responded
  • Yellow if one but not all candidates in the race responded
  • Orange if none of the candidates have responded
Gubernatorial Races Senate Races
Map showing which states have gubernatorial candidates who responded to the questionnaire Map showing which states have senate candidates who responded to the questionnaire

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 QuestionnaireHow-To

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