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Category: Democrats

Joe Biden’s Message to Voters with Disabilities: “Dignity and Opportunity”

Washington, D.C., June 29 – Former Vice President and Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden had a clear message for the disability community this past week: “Everyone is entitled to a life of dignity and opportunity.” In a video message played at POWER: the Disability Vote, a national, nonpartisan Disability & Election Virtual Summit hosted by the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), Biden spoke about his legislative record in the Senate and his vision for advancing disability rights if elected President. 

Speaking of his legislative efforts as a Senator from Delaware, Biden talked about working on the passage of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 in his “first year in the Senate.” This law, which specifically prohibited “discrimination on the basis of disability in programs conducted by federal agencies,” created the legal environment that directly lead to the mobilization of the disability rights movement. Biden then talked about the passage of the Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA) of 1988. This law explicated added people with disabilities to the categories of people protected from discrimination “in housing sales, rentals or financing.” Lastly, he spoke with great pride about being counted among the cosponsors of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990. 

Amid the Pandemic, Biden Campaign Unveils Disability Plan “For Full Participation and Equality”

Washington, D.C., May 28 – After months of frustration, anticipation and advocacy by the disability community, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden unveiled his campaign’s disability platform. The plan, intended to positively impact the lives of the one-in-five Americans living with a disability, covers a range of issues as diverse and broad as the wider challenges facing the nation. Critically, the plan commits Biden and his campaign to ensure that “people with disabilities have a voice in their government” and are included throughout the “policy development and implementation” process. 

The plan specifically delineates how a Biden presidency would  “enforce civil rights,” ensure “affordable health care,” expand “competitive, integrated employment,” “strengthen economic security,” improve “educational programs,” and address “affordable housing, transportation, and assistive technologies” needs in the community as well as advancing “global disability rights.” 

Bernie Sanders Drops Out of Presidential Primary

Washington, D.C., April 8 – Earlier today, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders announced that he is dropping out of the 2020 Democratic Primary, leaving former Vice President Joe Biden as the presumptive Democratic nominee for President.

While neither the Biden campaign nor the Trump campaign have yet released detailed policy plans on disability issues, ahead of the Iowa Caucus Sen. Sanders rolled out a comprehensive “Fighting for Disability Rights Plan.” In the plan, Sen. Sanders promised to “incorporate disability issues into every other area of public policy” and “promote access, autonomy, inclusion and self-determination for all.” The RespectAbility Report covered the plan back in February. 

Sen. Sanders had also responded to RespectAbility’s detailed candidate questionnaire on disability issues. The questionnaire was purely for educational purposes. RespectAbility reached out to all of the major presidential campaigns on both sides of the aisle. All responses to the candidate questionnaire will be posted in full on The RespectAbility Report as they come in and will be used to produce and update nonpartisan voter guides in all 50 states. It is the hope of RespectAbility that the remaining candidates will send their responses in soon.

Stimulus Package Becomes Law – Here’s What It Means for People with Disabilities

Washington, D.C., March 27 – President Trump signed into law today the $2 trillion-dollar emergency stimulus aimed at propping up the economy during the current crisis. This law is unprecedented in its scope and is meant to help our nation respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even now, government agencies are going to work to implement the new law.

Millions of Americans living with disabilities are wondering what this new law means for them and whether they will see any benefit. The short answer is yes, but how far the law will go to help people with disabilities who are uniquely at-risk to the impact of the virus remains an open question.

New Battleground Poll Data Shows Disability Community is Large and Electorally Contested

Washington, D.C., March 19 – New 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.

The phone poll of 1,000 registered voters across 16 presidential and Senate battleground states was conducted by Stan Greenberg, Ph.D., and the polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research (GQRR), on behalf of the disability inclusion organization RespectAbility. The data was released on a webinar earlier today. The memocross-tab data, and PowerPoint are available to download now. The webinar recording will be available to watch with captions early next week.

Voter Guide for 717,104 South Carolinians with Disabilities

South Carolina Ranks 43rd in the Country on Jobs for People with Disabilities

Columbia, South Carolina, Feb. 24 – In the run up to the 2020 South Carolina Democratic primary, the nonpartisan disability inclusion organization RespectAbility has released its South Carolina State Voter Guide. 

According to the recently released 2019 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium, 717,104 people with disabilities live in South Carolina, comprising 14.4 percent  of the total population. Research conducted in the 2018 election shows that 74 percent of likely voters either have a disability themselves or have a family member or a close friend with disabilities. The upcoming elections and their results will have an impact on people with disabilities, so it is important to become familiar with the candidates’ positions on certain issues.

Voter Guide for 373,391 Nevadans with Disabilities

Nevada Ranks 9th in the Country on Jobs for People with Disabilities

Reno, NV, Feb. 19 – In the run up to the 2020 Nevada Democratic caucus, the nonpartisan disability organization RespectAbility has released its Nevada State Voter Guide. 

According to the recently released 2019 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium, the total number of Nevadans with disabilities is 373,391 and they make up 12.5 percent of the total population. Research conducted in the 2018 election shows that 74 percent of likely voters either have a disability themselves or have a family member or a close friend with disabilities. The upcoming elections and their results will have an impact on people with disabilities, so it is important to become familiar with the candidates’ positions on certain issues.

Voter Guide for 171,000 New Hampshirites with Disabilities

Guide Highlights Presidential Candidates’ Responses to 2020 Disability Candidate Questionnaire

Manchester, New Hampshire, Feb. 10 – As New Hampshire voters get ready to go to the polls in their state’s primary election, the nonpartisan disability rights nonprofit RespectAbility has released its New Hampshire State Voter Guide. According to the 2018 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium, there are more than 171,000 people with disabilities in New Hampshire. There is no early voting in New Hampshire’s presidential primaries. However, absentee ballots can be requested until the day before the election (February 10, 2020) and must be received by the day of the election (February 11, 2020) at 5:00 PM. This is a useful option for people with disabilities whose disability keeps them from voting in person. Voters with disabilities also can have an election judge or a person of their choice assist them with voting in person, as long as that person is not the individual’s employer, union representative, or a candidate running for office.

Research conducted in the 2018 election shows that 74 percent of likely voters either have a disability themselves or have a family member or a close friend with disabilities. The upcoming elections and their results will have an impact on people with disabilities, so it is important to become familiar with the candidates’ positions on certain issues.

Presidential Candidates, Disability Benefits & Jobs

Washington, D.C., Feb. 2 – As a nonpartisan national nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so people with disabilities can participate fully in all aspects of community, RespectAbility has invited all candidates in the presidential race on both sides of the aisle to submit their answers to a 2020 Disability Voter Candidate Questionnaire. 

Question 11 in the Questionnaire was: “The federal law and benefits system punish people who want to work or whose families want to help them. For example, currently people with disabilities who are on SSI are prohibited of having more than $2,000 liquid assets at any one time. Furthermore, current law limits parents and grandparents to helping their children financially who acquired their disability prior to age 26 but not if they acquire a disability after age 26. What will you do to ensure that people have more options than being forced to choose between access to supports, benefits and service or the opportunity to pursue work, careers and an income?

Below, read the answers from the five candidates who responded:

Presidential Candidates & Preventing Attacks on People with Disabilities

Washington, D.C., Feb. 2 – As a nonpartisan national nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so people with disabilities can participate fully in all aspects of community, RespectAbility has invited all candidates in the presidential race on both sides of the aisle to submit their answers to a 2020 Disability Voter Candidate Questionnaire. Question 6 in the Questionnaire was: “People with disabilities are twice as likely to be victims of crime as those without disabilities. This includes the fact that both children and adults with disabilities are more likely to be victims of rape or sexual assault. How would you address these issues?

Below, read the answers from the five candidates who responded:

Days Before the Iowa Caucus, Sanders Unveils New “Fighting for Disability Rights Plan”

The Vermont Senator pledges to “incorporate disability issues into every other area of public policy.”  

Washington, D.C., Feb. 1 – With just days to go before the Iowa Caucus, Vermont Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders released his own comprehensive disability policy plan. Much like that of fellow progressive candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Sanders’ plan covers the broadest possible spectrum of disability issues including “housing, health care, education, transportation, technology and many others.” If elected, Sen. Sanders commits to “incorporate disability issues into every other area of public policy” and “to promote access, autonomy, inclusion and self-determination for all.” 

Presidential Candidates & Veterans

Washington, D.C., Feb. 1 – As a nonpartisan national nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so people with disabilities can participate fully in all aspects of community, RespectAbility has invited all candidates in the presidential race on both sides of the aisle to submit their answers to a 2020 Disability Voter Candidate Questionnaire. Question 13 in the Questionnaire was: “What are your plans to ensure that the bureaucracy of the Veterans Administration supports and serves veterans with disabilities? What is your plan to support veterans with disabilities, especially female veterans with disabilities?”

Below, read the answers from the five candidates who responded:

Presidential Candidates & Preventing Police Violence Against People with Disabilities

Washington, D.C., Feb. 1 – As a nonpartisan national nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so people with disabilities can participate fully in all aspects of community, RespectAbility has invited all candidates in the presidential race on both sides of the aisle to submit their answers to a 2020 Disability Voter Candidate Questionnaire. Question 8 in the Questionnaire was: “People with disabilities also are far more likely to suffer from police violence, partially because manifestations of disability can be misunderstood. How would you address these issues?

Below, read the answers from the five candidates who responded:

Presidential Candidates & Housing for People with Disabilities

Washington, D.C., Feb. 1 – As a nonpartisan national nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so people with disabilities can participate fully in all aspects of community, RespectAbility has invited all candidates in the presidential race on both sides of the aisle to submit their answers to a 2020 Disability Voter Candidate Questionnaire. Question 10 in the Questionnaire was: “What are your thoughts on ensuring that people with disabilities have the option to live in their homes instead of institutions and still have the community attendant supports they need to live? Do you have a plan for affordable housing and to reduce homelessness for people with disabilities?

Below, read the answers from the five candidates who responded:

Presidential Candidates & Access to Healthcare and Jobs

Washington, D.C., Jan 31 – As a nonpartisan national nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so people with disabilities can participate fully in all aspects of community, RespectAbility has invited all candidates in the presidential race on both sides of the aisle to submit their answers to a 2020 Disability Voter Candidate Questionnaire. Question 9 in the Questionnaire was: “How would you ensure that people with disabilities have access to healthcare and the benefits they need while enabling them with opportunities to work to the best of their capacities without losing the supports they need to live? This relates to private healthcare as well as SSI, SSDI, Medicare and Medicaid.

Below, read the answers from the five candidates who responded:

Presidential Candidates & Including People with Disabilities in their Campaigns

Washington, D.C., Jan 30 – As a nonpartisan national nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so people with disabilities can participate fully in all aspects of community, RespectAbility has invited all candidates in the presidential race on both sides of the aisle to submit their answers to a 2020 Disability Voter Candidate Questionnaire. Question 15 in the Questionnaire was: “Are your office, website and events accessible to people with disabilities? Have you identified a process for including people with disabilities in your staff and policy advisors? If yes, please describe.

Below, read the answers from the five candidates who responded:

Presidential Candidates & Advancing Assistive Technology for People with Disabilities

Washington, D.C., Jan 30 – As a nonpartisan national nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so people with disabilities can participate fully in all aspects of community, RespectAbility has invited all candidates in the presidential race on both sides of the aisle to submit their answers to a 2020 Disability Voter Candidate Questionnaire. Question 12 in the Questionnaire was: “How would you advance innovations (i.e., assistive technologies, devices) that can help people with disabilities become more successfully employed, productive and independent?

Below, read the answers from the five candidates who responded:

Presidential Candidates & Education for Students with Disabilities

Washington, D.C., Jan 30 – As a nonpartisan national nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so people with disabilities can participate fully in all aspects of community, RespectAbility has invited all candidates in the presidential race on both sides of the aisle to submit their answers to a 2020 Disability Voter Candidate Questionnaire. Question 4 in the Questionnaire was: “The jobs of the future will largely require post-secondary education or other credentials. Today 65 percent of students with disabilities complete high school. What policies do you advocate to support the academic and career success of students with disabilities, especially for students from historically marginalized communities and backgrounds?”

Below, read the answers from the five candidates who responded:

Presidential Candidates & Criminal Justice Reform for People with Disabilities

Washington, D.C., Jan 29 – As a nonpartisan national nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so people with disabilities can participate fully in all aspects of community, RespectAbility has invited all candidates in the presidential race on both sides of the aisle to submit their answers to a 2020 Disability…

Presidential Candidates Court Voters with Disabilities With Plans to Reduce Stigmas

Washington, D.C., Jan 29 – As a nonpartisan national nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so people with disabilities can participate fully in all aspects of community, RespectAbility has invited all candidates in the presidential race on both sides of the aisle to submit their answers to a 2020 Disability…