Washington, D.C., August 21 – On behalf of the Trump Campaign, Lara Trump reached out to the 1-in-5 people who live with a physical, sensory, cognitive, mental health or other disability on the occasion of the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“It is my and President Trump’s belief that every American should have the utmost chance to pursue his or her American dream.” Trump said at a national #ADA30 summit sponsored by RespectAbility, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that fights stigmas and advances opportunities for people with disabilities. “We look forward to working with you all going forward to ensure the American dream is accessible to everyone.” More than 10,000 people watched RespectAbility’s online summit.
Each campaign cycle, RespectAbility issues nonpartisan disability voter guides in each of America’s 50 states. This year’s guide will focus on seven core questions that impact the lives and livelihoods of people with disabilities.People with disabilities are America’s largest marginalized population and the only one that, due to an accident, aging or illness, anyone can join at any time. According to the U.S. Census, more than 56 million people – 1 in 5 Americans – had at least one disability prior to COVID-19. This includes people with physical, sensory, learning, cognitive and other barriers to everyday living. The disability community is growing because of this pandemic, both from people who had the coronavirus and with so many people experiencing mental health challenges.
“We are grateful that Lara Trump spoke on behalf of the Trump campaign to the disability community on issues that are important to us. This election cycle is more important than ever, and it is vital for people with disabilities to register and vote. It also is critical for voting – whether it is online, by mail or in-person – to be accessible to voters with disabilities,” said Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, president of RespectAbility.
Voters with disabilities want access in democracy, just like anyone else. At the same time, they have specific issues of interest. Of the 22 million working age (ages 18-64) people with disabilities in our country, fully 70 percent of them were outside of the labor force even before the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the pandemic, more than 20 percent of people with disabilities who had jobs have lost them.
Polling data of the battleground states shows that the disability community is large and electorally contested, but the issues they care about most are not being sufficiently addressed. More than half of the electorate in the battleground (59 percent) self-identifies as having a disability (16 percent), having a family member with a disability (32 percent) or having a close friend with a disability (11 percent).
Full Transcript of Lara Trump’s Remarks
“It’s an honor to be speaking to everyone here at RespectAbility to mark the 30th anniversary of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act. President Trump and his entire administration are eternally grateful for the incredible work done by RespectAbility. It is my and President Trump’s belief that every American should have the utmost chance to pursue his or her American dream. We’ve done so much together during this first term and we look forward to working with you all going forward to ensure the American dream is accessible to everyone.
Since the passage of the ADA, we’ve made great strides at building inclusive workplaces and communities to ensure that every American, regardless of circumstance, can pursue the American dream to its fullest. However, we know that there’s still work to be done. President Trump is committed to working with groups like yours and the American Association of People with Disabilities to focus our efforts and continue working tirelessly to uplift and empower people with disabilities.
Our commitment to this noble goal has already shown results. In recent months during this global pandemic the administration has ensured that hospitals never discriminate against people with disabilities when testing and treating for the coronavirus. We have also worked to ensure that people with disabilities will have support workers assist Americans with disabilities during their hospital stays. The coronavirus has affected us all but presents unique and additional challenges for people with disabilities. We look forward to continue building on our partnership to ensure that we all stand together united in our battle against the coronavirus. No American will be left behind.
Outside of the administration’s coronavirus response, our commitment to uplifting and empowering Americans with disabilities is clear, and it’s something that we’re extremely proud of. The administration, through the FDA, banned the horrific practice of using electric shock devices on autistic children. It’s a true shame that it took until now to ban this cruel practice, but President Trump’s administration is committed to taking bold action to protect Americans with disabilities. But that is President Trump’s vision for all disabled Americans, not to only ensure that the disabilities community has all the resources it needs, but to celebrate the incredible achievements made by this community.
Americans with disabilities have made significant contributions to our nation. President Trump is committed to creating a more inclusive nation, a nation where Americans with disabilities are embraced and empowered in schools, workplaces, and communities. In President Trump’s America, every one of us are afforded dignity, respect and equal rights. Together we’ll ensure that disabled Americans are empowered and uplifted.
Before the artificial shutdown, Americans with disabilities experienced the lowest unemployment rate in history. President Trump’s 2021 budget for the Department of Labor included 3.8 billion dollars for vocational rehabilitation grants to help individuals with significant disabilities prepare for and remain in the workforce. This funding supports a wide range of services, including counseling, job placement assistance, and rehabilitation technology. Furthermore, the President is committed to preparing youth with disabilities for success in the labor market by providing a strong educational foundation.
From education, to workforce opportunities, to support for patients and caregivers, President Trump is committed to uplifting and celebrating the role that Americans with disabilities play in our society. As we celebrate the incredible 30-year anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, we must also consider the work that remains ahead of us. We cannot wait to see what more we can achieve together. President Trump and his entire administration stand ready to work with you to continue uplifting and empowering all Americans with disabilities. Thank you.”