Washington, D.C., Oct. 5 – RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for people with disabilities, has asked gubernatorial candidates on all sides of the aisle to fill out a questionnaire on disability issues. JB Pritzker, a Democratic candidate for governor, responded to the #PwDsVote Questionnaire.
RespectAbility is nonpartisan and does not endorse candidates. The questionnaire is purely for educational purposes.
This is important for Illinois’ 1,408,800 citizens with disabilities. Only 35.1 percent of the 697,200 working-age people with disabilities in Illinois are employed. Further, there are more than 118,200 youth with disabilities and each year a quarter of them will age out of school into an uncertain future.
According to a recent survey, 74 percent of likely voters have a disability themselves or have a family member or a close friend with disabilities. The upcoming elections and their results will have an impact on people with disabilities, so it is important to become familiar with the candidates’ thoughts on certain issues.
“Candidates for office ignore the disability community at their peril,” said former U.S. Representative and Dallas Mayor Steve Bartlett. Bartlett, who was a primary author of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, is the chairman of RespectAbility.
While Pritzker did not answer each question individually, he has a webpage devoted to disability inclusion and he shared these principles with RespectAbility.
RespectAbility also sent the questionnaire to the campaign of Incumbent Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.
We are presenting Pritzker’s Principles for Disability Inclusion below.
People with disabilities deserve real options that provide them with the supports they need to live independent, meaningful lives that are integrated and included in the community. We can do this by improving and increasing access to a range of reliable supports designed to meet the individualized needs of people with disabilities, and by expanding access to economic opportunity.
It’s also vital that policy decisions that impact people with disabilities are made with and by people with disabilities. People with disabilities will play an integral role in my administration.
JB’s principles for an inclusive administration:
- Public policy decisions that impact people with disabilities should not be made without people with disabilities;
- People with disabilities deserve to live meaningful, independent lives that are integrated and included in the community;
- People with disabilities deserve to choose where they live and to receive individualized services designed to meet their needs;
- People with disabilities deserve stable, reliable support from caregivers who earn a living wage;
- People with disabilities deserve equitable access to education, housing, health care, preventive health services, human services, transportation, and other general state services;
- People with disabilities deserve access to expanded economic opportunities.
RespectAbility has asked all the candidates for governor on both sides of the aisle to complete the same questionnaire. We will share responses from additional campaigns as we receive them.
The RespectAbility Report is a nonpartisan political commentary on U.S. elections with a focus on disability issues. The RespectAbility Report first posed this down ballot questionnaire to candidates in 2016 while covering all of the 2016 Democratic and Republican candidates for president. Coverage of this and related issues can be found at https://therespectabilityreport.org/.
The RespectAbility Report is nonpartisan and does not endorse candidates.