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Gillibrand Campaign Pledges to Prioritize People with Disabilities as Campaign Staff, Volunteers

Washington, D.C., June 10 – Sen. Gillibrand previously committed to having a person with a disability in her Cabinet and now goes further in response to a question posed to all of the viable 2020 presidential candidates by RespectAbility, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that fights stigmas and advances opportunities for people with disabilities. Gillibrand’s campaign has pledged to not only “make accommodations to enable staff with a disability to perform their job without undue hardship” but also “to make volunteer opportunities inclusive and encourage creative solutions to allow people with disabilities to be an active part of our team.”

In addition, the campaign told RespectAbility that they prioritize creating “campaign materials that are accessible to all and depict people with disabilities – including, but not limited to, providing closed captioning for all videos the campaign produces, including people with disabilities in content, and maintaining a WCAG AA-compliant website” as well as ensuring accessible event locations. Speaking in Iowa this weekend, an ASL interpreter was prominently placed next to Sen. Gillibrand, as she spoke about marriage equality and LGBTQ+ rights.

Gillibrand’s campaign participated in a nonpartisan briefing with RespectAbility on this topic. Seven other Democratic presidential campaigns also participated in such a briefing: Biden, Booker, Inslee, Klobuchar, Sanders, Warren and Yang. All viable campaigns were invited to participate in a general briefing or to schedule a briefing, and all are welcome to request a future briefing. 

Each campaign has been asked to respond to the same question. We are presenting Sen. Gillibrand’s response in full below:


Q: How will you be ensuring that your campaign fully includes people with disabilities and intentionally speaks to people with disabilities?

A: Senator Gillibrand believes in the importance of running a campaign that is inclusive of all Americans. In order to ensure we are fully including people with disabilities, the campaign prioritizes the following:

  • The campaign will make accommodations to enable staff with a disability to perform their job without undue hardship
  • Create and open dialogue with people with disabilities when creating policy platforms in order to learn more about their needs and priorities
  • Ensure people are able to engage with our campaign in their preferred capacity and provide our field and HQ staff with the necessary tools and information to include and accommodate people with disabilities who wish to volunteer
    • The campaign will aim to make volunteer opportunities inclusive and encourage creative solutions to allow people with disabilities to be an active part of our team
  • Create campaign materials that are accessible to all and depict people with disabilities- including, but not limited to, providing closed captioning for all videos the campaign produces, including people with disabilities in content, and maintaining a WCAG AA-compliant website.
  • When planning public and private events, the campaign will prioritize locations that are accessible and ensure the proper steps are taken to accommodate people with disabilities

Senator Gillibrand has championed bills to protect the rights of people with disabilities, including co-sponsoring the Disability Integration Act, the Transformation to Competitive Employment Act, and the Health Equity and Accountability Act. As president, Sen. Gillibrand has pledged to have people with disabilities in her administration and in her Cabinet.


RespectAbility is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that fights stigmas and advances opportunities for people with disabilities. RespectAbility does not rate or endorse candidates. View more coverage of 2020 presidential candidates here: https://therespectabilityreport.org/category/2020-campaign. To learn more about the organization, visit our website at www.respectability.org.

Published in2020 CampaignDemocrats

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