Questions Focus on Issues Relating to Education, Employment and Stigma
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. Currently, there are 987,522 people with disabilities in the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area. That includes people who are blind or deaf or have other visible conditions such as spinal cord injuries, as well as people with invisible disabilities including learning disabilities, mental health or Autism.
RespectAbility, a nonprofit nonpartisan organization that fights stigmas and advances opportunities for people with disabilities, is asking candidates to answer five key questions that impact the close to one-million people with disabilities in the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area. All responses in full will be reported in The RespectAbility Report, a nonpartisan political commentary on U.S. elections with a focus on disability issues and used in our LA County Disability Voter Guide. The RespectAbility Report is nonpartisan and does not endorse candidates. The questionnaire is for educational purposes.
Below are the questions for all Los Angeles area candidates. Please limit each answer to no more than 250 words.
- EDUCATION AND SKILLS: There are more than 183,000 students with disabilities enrolled in Los Angeles County public schools. Of that number, 126,000 are Latinx students with disabilities who face additional barriers such as language differences, inadequate resources, economic disparities and racial discrimination. What will you do to ensure that more and more students with disabilities of all backgrounds receive the skills, resources and opportunities they need to succeed?
- JOBS AND INDEPENDENCE: There are 452,879 working-age people with disabilities in Los Angeles County and only 163,363 have jobs. In other parts of the United States, there was a 4-fold increase in new jobs for people with disabilities. Last year, more than 10,000 working-age people with disabilities in Los Angeles left the workforce. What is your plan to support more job opportunities for people with disabilities across Los Angeles County?
- FIGHTING PREJUDICE: Media representation of minority communities is crucial to reducing discrimination, bias and stigma in our broad culture. What will you do to leverage the power of Hollywood to fight stigmas and empower Los Angelenos with disabilities to work in entertainment, just like anyone else?
- CIVIC ENGAGEMENT & EQUITY: People most directly affected by issues such as education, jobs, prejudice, homelessness, criminal justice, poverty and other issues deserves to have their voice, insights and experiences respected and utilized in finding and implementing solutions. People with disabilities are disproportionally impacted by these issues. As a public official, what will you do to ensure that Los Angeleno with disabilities have “a seat at the table” for all major issues and can be part of solutions so that they and all others can have a better future?
Completed questionnaires should be sent to EricA@RespectAbility.org.