Perry, Iowa, Jan. 18 – Sen. Amy Klobuchar said voters with disabilities contribute to elections “in a big way.”
Answering questions at a town hall in Perry, Iowa earlier this week, Klobuchar talked about the importance of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which covers educational funding for children with disabilities from birth through high school graduation or age 21, whichever comes first. IDEA has yet to be fully funded by the federal government since it was first passed in 1975. “My mom was a teacher, so I get this,” she added.
“In addition to fully funding the IDEA, Senator Klobuchar will take action to ensure that education facilities accommodate people with disabilities, educators have the training and resources to effectively teach students with learning and other disabilities, and schools provide supportive resources for students with disabilities. As President, she will also fully implement the Every Student Succeeds Act, which she helped pass, by ensuring students with disabilities are included in state accountability systems and are held to the same expectations as students without disabilities. She will also increase funding for programs that connect students with disabilities and their families to resources that prepare them for higher education, careers and community integration.”
Speaking at the town hall, Klobuchar also said other big issues for people with disabilities include ensuring there is no discrimination in housing “and all those long-term care provisions that I have been discussing, they would work for people with disabilities as well.”
James Trout, a former RespectAbility Policy Fellow who is on the autism spectrum, also reminded Klobuchar about “the importance of employment as well because children with disabilities become adults with disabilities.”
Read Full Transcript:
Eric Ascher: What do you think voters with disabilities are going to contribute to the general election victory, if it happens?
Amy Klobuchar: Well, in a big way, because I think when you look at the stakes in this election, no one feels it more than people with disabilities. When you look at the President’s attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, I still remember being in a small town parade and this mom said to me when we were having the debate in congress, “This is my boy, and he has Down syndrome.” He was a toddler. She said, “I will do anything to fight for his health care. This is what a preexisting condition looks like.” So, there’s that issue. There’s IDEA funding to make sure that our schools get the funding they need to work with kids with disabilities. My mom was a teacher, so I get this. The final thing is everything from housing to making sure there’s no discrimination, and all those long-term care provisions that I have been discussing, they would work for people with disabilities as well.
James Trout: And not to mention the importance of employment as well because children with disabilities become adults with disabilities.
Amy Klobuchar: Exactly, and the numbers are just so stark for some of that. So, it’s creating incentives for that — getting rid of Betsy Devos, that’d be a nice touch.
RespectAbility is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that fights stigmas and advances opportunities so that people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of their communities. RespectAbility does not rate or endorse candidates. The questionnaire is purely for educational purposes. RespectAbility has reached out to all of the major presidential campaigns on both sides of the aisle and will be posting all responses on The RespectAbility Report. View more coverage of 2020 presidential candidates.