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Author: Philip Pauli

Matt Mead on Wyoming’s First in the Nation Standing on Jobs for People with Disabilities

Washington, Feb. 27 – With 57 percent of their citizens with disabilities employed, the state of Wyoming has good reason to be proud. Speaking with The RespectAbility Report at the National Governor’s Association’s Winter Meeting, Gov. Matt Mead credited Wyoming’s “culture and heritage” for why his state has the highest employment…

Asa Hutchinson Talks about Jobs for People with Disabilities in Arkansas

Washington, Feb. 27 – According to Gov. Asa Hutchinson, jobs matter because “everybody, no matter of a disability or not, has a desire to work, a desire to contribute and to be meaningful in life.” Speaking at the National Governors Association Winter Meeting, the Republican governor of Arkansas also emphasized the critical impact…

Doug Ducey Talks Civics Education and Students with Disabilities at NGA

Washington, Feb. 26 – At a special session of the National Governors Association’s Winter Meeting, Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona focused on the importance of civics education for all students, including children with disabilities. He introduced a video presentation from the Joe Foss Institute about the lack of civic knowledge and…

Kate Brown Celebrates Curb Cut Movement at NGA Winter Meeting

headshot of Gov. Brown wearing pearls, blue shirt and tan blazer with a brick wall background
Gov. Kate Brown (D-OR)

Washington, Feb. 26 – Speaking this weekend, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s focus was firmly on job opportunities for all Oregonians, including people with disabilities.

“We will be working hard to make sure that Oregon’s economy continues to thrive,” the Democratic governor said at this weekend’s National Governors Association Winter Meeting. “It’s about jobs; it’s about kids. It’s about making sure that Oregonians have the door of opportunity open for them.“

Responding to a question from RespectAbility’s reporting staff about workforce development, Brown immediately talked about curb cuts and social activism as a metaphor to talk about building an inclusive economy.

“What we learned from the Curb Cuts fight is that by providing curb cuts for our vulnerable citizens, it benefits all of us,” Brown responded.

“My fight,” she went on to say, “is to make sure we take care of our vulnerable populations and by doing that, it lifts all of us up.”

Recognizing the Impact of Voters with Disabilities on National Voter Registration Day

National Voter Registration Day logoWashington, Sept. 27 – Today, we celebrate National Voter Registration Day. With the election only 41 days away, time is running out for people to complete their voter registration. As we encourage all voters to ensure they are registered, it also is important to call attention to the importance of voting rights by talking about barriers that keep people from exercising their right to vote.

This day comes at a critical time not only for the presidential election but also for the one in five Americans who have a disability. The electoral power and political impact of voters with disabilities are being recognized like never before. From front page news stories in the New York Times and the Washington Post to groundbreaking political research by Pew Research Center and Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight, Americans with disabilities are being recognized as a potentially decisive voting bloc. Just this past week, Hillary Clinton delivered a major speech about disability employment.

Recognizing the Power of Voters with Disability: Polling, Marching, Voting

a voter with a disability casting his ballotWashington, Sept. 20 – Last week, statistician Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight blog published an in-depth article examining the potential electoral impact of voters with disabilities in the 2016 election. This article, entitled “One in Six Eligible Voters Has A Disability,” documents in great detail the diverse demographics of the disability community and describes some of the crucial barriers impacting voting rights for people with disabilities.

Reporting on a new study from Rutgers University, FiveThirtyEight stated that “approximately one-sixth of November’s electorate will be comprised of people with disabilities” for a total of “34.6 million” eligible voters with disabilities. This new report also finds that the number of eligible voting-age people with disabilities is growing faster than potential voters without disabilities.

This research confirms past efforts by RespectAbility to estimate the potential power of voters with disabilities to swing the outcomes of competitive elections. In 2014, RespectAbility collaborated with Republican and Democratic pollsters on a survey of likely voters in battle-ground states. In total, this survey found that 56 percent of likely voters identified as people with disabilities and/or had a close friend or family member with a disability.

“We are accustomed to thinking about ‘soccer moms,’ ‘Hispanics’ or ‘values voters.’ But this poll shows that Americans with disabilities – and those who care deeply about them – are a demographic we need to pay attention to in the future,” Republican pollster Whit Ayres stated at the time.

Burr Campaign Launches Television Ad Touting Work on ABLE Act

screenshot of Burr ad showing picture of the D'Amelios family
Screenshot of Burr’s Ad

Washington, Sept. 12 – One week after incumbent Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) completed RespectAbility’s #PwDsVote candidate questionnaire on disability issues, the campaign supporting his reelection efforts launched a new television ad focused on disability.

This new statewide political ad describes how the North Carolina Republican worked to get the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act passed and how this law empowers people with disabilities to save money without fearing the loss of essential benefits. The ad features a North Carolina family with two children on the Autism Spectrum and discusses how the entire family benefits from these new 529 savings accounts.

“Without Richard Burr, our children and other people’s children would not have the benefit of saving for their future,” Christie D’Amelio of Charlotte, North Carolina, says in the ad.

The YouTube version of the ad, which is the version embedded on the campaign’s website, and the Facebook upload, both include captioning, which is important for the 37.5 million American adults aged 18 and over who report some trouble hearing.

Trump Perpetuates Stigma around Mental Health with Talk of “Sickos”

Boulder, Oct. 29 – In campaign events across the country, Donald Trump has been quick to use the word “stupid” when talking about the perceived incompetence of political leaders. He has also been quick to emphasize his view that those who are mentally ill are likely to carry out violent gun…

To Save Medicare, Huckabee Says Fight Chronic Disease

Boulder, Oct. 29 – In an effort to stand out on the crowded stage of the CNBC Republican debate, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee offered a different perspective on addressing income inequality and the cost of Medicare. “We need to be focusing on what fixes this country,” the presidential hopeful said. “Instead of…

Jeb: Workforce Participation Rates Lower Than in 1977

Boulder, Oct. 29 – With the American economy in focus at last night’s CNBC debate, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush connected dysfunction in Washington with decreasing workforce participation rates and the continuing need for optimism. When asked about his challenging race, Bush emphasized his belief that “the great majority of…Americans believe in a hopeful…

O’Malley On “Dignity of Work” for People with Disabilities

Boulder, Oct. 28 – While the night’s spotlight was shining on the CNBC Republican Primary Debate, Democratic presidential hopeful Martin O’Malley walked along the paths of the University of Colorado at Boulder campus. In a conversation with The RespectAbility Report, the former governor of Maryland said, “people with disabilities labor under a disproportionally high…

Inaccessible Polling Places Disenfranchise Nation’s Largest Minority

Washington, Sept. 22 – Today, our nation observes National Voter Registration Day. It is a chance to celebrate our democratic society and to remind everyday people the importance of registering to vote. However, for many Americans, voting is not a quick and easy process. Physical and other barriers at polling…

Executive Orders Can Create Jobs for People with Disabilities

Washington, August 7 – Yesterday during the Fox News “Happy Hour” Debate, several presidential candidates promised to revoke all executive orders signed by President Obama. Multiple candidates including former Virginia Gov. Gilmore, former New York Gov. George Pataki, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, and former Sen.…