New York, NY, Oct. 26 – Fourteen of the nation’s largest disability organizations have joined together to urge all Americans who care about issues related to disability to vote on November 3rd. These organizations today released the following collective statement:
“COVID-19 is a unique burden for people with disabilities. Lives have been lost. Isolation exacerbated. Unemployment skyrocketing. The policy issues on the ballot this November impacts every aspect of life for the disability community. We must vote in record numbers to have our voices heard and needs met in the ongoing public health emergency.
“People with disabilities form an increasingly large, powerful, and potentially decisive percentage of the electorate in key battleground states and across the country. A projected 38 million eligible voters have a disability and millions more live with someone who has a disability. Taken together, more than 25% of the American electorate may be motivated by issues affecting the disability community.
“These issues include funding for Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) to support health care needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. HCBS helps individuals with disabilities receive services at home as appropriate. HCBS is also important to help individuals with disabilities work, by hiring direct support staff, including job coaches, so that those who can work at this time have the supports they need to do so safely and effectively. And when individuals with disabilities work, we hope to see that they are paid fair wages with a phasing-out of section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act, which allows individuals with disabilities to be paid subminimum wages. These, among other issues, are essential to the future success of individuals with disabilities.
“Fourteen of the nation’s largest disability organizations are unified in message and purpose. We encourage all of our members to vote!”
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Should you have questions about voting, please view the resources from the American Association of People with Disabilities, Association of University Centers on Disabilities, Autistic Self Advocacy Network, the Bazelon Center, National Down Syndrome Congress, National Down Syndrome Society, and RespectAbility.