Washington, Sept. 16 – RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization working to empower people with disabilities to achieve the American dream, has asked senate candidates on both sides of the aisle to fill out a questionnaire on disability issues. Incumbent Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Democrat running for re-election for the U.S. Senate seat in Vermont, responded to the #PwDsVote Disability Campaign Questionnaire for Senate and Gubernatorial Candidates for people with disabilities.
RespectAbility is nonpartisan and does not endorse candidates. The questionnaire is purely for educational purposes.
Only 33.3 percent of Vermont’s more than 41,500 working-age people with disabilities are employed. This lack of opportunity creates poverty, powerlessness and even can increase the likelihood of developing a mental health condition. Among those with disabilities, there is a poverty rate of 29.2 percent in Vermont.
While Leahy did not answer each question individually, he sent a statement addressing several of the issues brought up in the questionnaire including his support for the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Excellence in Mental Health Act of 2013 and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.