Montgomery, Alabama, Nov. 7 – Republican gubernatorial candidate Kay Ivey has won re-election for the Alabama governorship, defeating Democratic challenger Walt Maddox.
In October, Ivey issued a proclamation for Disability Employment Awareness. She emphasized the importance of people with disabilities’ impact on the economy while highlighting a need for a break down in stigmas against people with disabilities.
In Alabama, there are 421,135 working-age people (18-64) living with disabilities. 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.
Of that number, 115,799 have jobs. According to RespectAbility, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that works to fight stigmas and advance opportunities for people with disabilities, Alabama ranks 49th compared to the rest of the country. With only 27.5 percent of its people with disabilities employed, Ivey hopes to begin improving the situation for the disability community in Alabama. This includes ensuring that paths to employment are open to the disability community.
“Alabamians with disabilities continue to make significant contributions to the economy of this state,” said Ivey in the proclamation. She also noted that people with disabilities “have performed successfully at every level of business and government, demonstrating their ability to play an integral role in our society.”
“The support and cooperation of all people are needed to reduce the attitudinal and physical barriers that hinder full acceptance of people with disabilities and their rightful place in employment,” Ivey added.
Late October, Ivey hosted the second annual Governor’s Job Fair for People with Disabilities. The fair is part of Ivey’s promise to make equal opportunity in employment for people with disabilities a priority.
Walter Maddox, the gubernatorial challenger to Ivey, also outlined his stance on disability issues by issuing a response to a disability issues questionnaire for Senate and gubernatorial candidates put out by RespectAbility, a nonpartisan, nonprofit national organization working to end stigmas and advance opportunities for people with disabilities. The questionnaire included 10 questions on topics important to people with disabilities and those close to them. His responses can be viewed on the Respectability Report.