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Category: Elizabeth Warren

Presidential Candidates’ Website Accessibility Improves but More Work Still Needed

Four Candidates – Biden, Booker, Castro and Yang – Have “Mostly Accessible” Websites

Washington, D.C., Dec. 19 – Nearly six months after a report by the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired found that all of the presidential candidates’ websites block democratic access to voters who are blind or have low vision, an update finds that still none of these websites – Democrat or Republican – are fully accessible. However, the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind found that many of the candidates’ websites do show improvements in accessibility.

The organization issued a challenge for the candidates in June: “ensure their websites are fully ADA compliant and immediately put an accessibility statement on their page.” Since then, both Entrepreneur Andrew Yang and Vice President Joe Biden’s have been deemed “mostly accessible” and are the only candidates who have qualified for the December debate to have scored higher than a 3.00 out of 4.00. 

Prioritizing Disability Employment in the Democratic Primary

Los Angeles, Dec. 17 – As seven presidential candidates get ready for the sixth Democratic debate on Thursday, The RespectAbility Report, an online publication focused on the intersection of politics and disability, has put together a comparison of the candidate’s positions on the employment of people with disabilities. The seven candidates who qualified for the debate are: Vice President Joe Biden, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Sen. Bernie Sanders, businessman Tom Steyer, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and businessman Andrew Yang.

Of these candidates, five of them have a disability policy plan on their campaign website: Vice President BidenMayor ButtigiegSen. WarrenSen. Sanders and Yang. However, only Mayor Buttigieg and Sen. Warren’s plans address disability employment specifically and concretely.

“Policy is Personal” Says Senator Elizabeth Warren in New Disability Rights Plan

Washington, D.C., Dec. 2 – Under the banner headline of “Fighting for an Accessible and Inclusive America,” Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren pledges she “will always fight for the full inclusion of people with disabilities.” The presidential candidate’s thorough plan to address disability rights highlights both her record of advocacy in areas such as employment and education while also pledging major actions on health care and inclusion. Her disability rights plan concludes by making it clear that this “policy is personal.” 

Buttigieg Stresses Importance of Including Disability Community in Policy Decisions

Washington, D.C., Oct. 12 – When presidential candidates include senior staff and advisors with disabilities, with the same effort as other marginalized populations, they are exposed to a variety of thoughts and ideas. Mayor Pete Buttigieg proved that during a recent interview with The New Republic when he noted the…

Presidential Candidates Discriminate Against Voters with Disabilities

Four Candidates – Biden, Booker, Warren, Yang – Have Made Substantial Improvements in Website Accessibility Washington, D.C., Sept. 12 – Nearly three months after a report by the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired found that all of the presidential candidates’ websites block democratic access to voters who are blind…

Plastic Straw Ban Becomes Topic of Debate During CNN Climate Town Hall

New York City, Sept. 4 – For more than a year now, disability advocates have admonished the plastic straw ban, because it is clear the policy was enacted without the involvement of people with disabilities, some of whom need plastic straws to survive.  During the CNN Climate Town Hall, Sen. Kamala…

On ADA Anniversary, Elizabeth Warren Committed to Americans with Disabilities’ Right to Live, Work and Love Independently

Washington, D.C., July 30 – In commemoration of the 29th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) on Friday, Elizabeth Warren tweeted several statements, the first of which she spoke about her first job out of college – “teaching students with speech and learning disabilities at a public school.” “It not only helped…

With 13 Candidates Celebrating the Anniversary of the ADA, Will They Talk About Disability at the Debates?

Washington, D.C., July 30 – This year marks the 29th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) becoming law. The ADA was intended to ensure that people with disabilities could earn an income and achieve independence, just like anyone else. With the Democratic candidates debating this week in Detroit,…

How Accessible and Inclusive Are the Presidential Candidates’ Campaigns?

How to Tell If a Presidential Campaign is Inclusive of People with Disabilities Washington, D.C., June 26 – On the eve of the first round of Democratic debates, it is important to remember that one important group of swing voters are people with disabilities, who comprise 20 percent of our…

Will Voters with Disabilities Determine Campaign 2020?

Washington, D.C., June 25 – Two separate bipartisan polls following the last presidential election showed that voters with disabilities and their family and friends voted in big numbers for President Donald Trump. Fully three-quarters of likely voters either have a disability themselves or have a family member, or a close friend with disabilities. Therefore, as the 2020 campaign heats up, it is in the best interest of every presidential candidate and the citizens of this country for candidates to recognize disability issues during their campaigns.

“Candidates for office ignore the disability community at their peril,” said former U.S. Representative and Dallas Mayor Steve Bartlett. Bartlett, who was a primary author of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, is the board chair of RespectAbility, a Washington-based nonpartisan nonprofit that fights stigmas and advances opportunities so people with disabilities can participate in all aspects of community. “People with disabilities are politically active swing voters, and candidates should take note of the important issues they care about.”

According to the Census Bureau, more than 56 million Americans live with some form of disability. This can include visible conditions such as spinal cord injuries, visual impairments or hearing loss to people living with invisible disabilities such as learning disabilities, mental health or Autism.

Warren: “Non-negotiable” For Campaign to Be Fully Inclusive of People with Disabilities

Washington, D.C., June 17 – Since she began working as a special education teacher, Sen. Elizabeth Warren says she understood “how important it is to live a life of independence and dignity.” Responding to a question posed to all of the viable 2020 presidential candidates by RespectAbility, a nonprofit, nonpartisan…

Sen. Elizabeth Warren Aims to Include Voters with Disabilities

Washington, D.C., May 19 – Massachusetts Sen. and Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has made her mark in the field by releasing major new policy proposals on a weekly basis. But how does she fare on disability issues? When analyzing polls, it is integral to identify the participants’ demographics and…

Disability Supporter Warren Keeps Massachusetts Seat in U.S. Senate

Headshot of Elizabeth WarrenBoston, Massachusetts, Nov. 6 – Democrat Elizabeth Warren kept her seat as Massachusetts’ U.S. Senator when she was elected over Republican Geoff Diehl today.

Warren completed a disability issues questionnaire for Senate and gubernatorial candidates put out by RespectAbility, a nonpartisan, nonprofit national organization working to end stigmas and advance opportunities for people with disabilities. The questionnaire included 10 questions on topics important to people with disabilities and those close to them. Despite repeated requests to his campaign, Diehl did not respond to the questionnaire.

In the questionnaire response, Warren focused on jobs for people with disabilities that provide fair wages—an important topic, since 61.4 percent of the 390,729 working-age people with disabilities in Massachusetts are out of work. Massachusetts is 24th on this list ranking states from best to worst on employment for people with disabilities.

“First off, individuals with disabilities should have the opportunity to reach their full potential in competitive and integrated employment settings, and they should receive fair wages for their work,” Warren said in her response. “For these reasons, I have worked to end the subminimum wage, which makes it perfectly legal for an employer to pay a worker with a disability less than a worker without a disability for doing the same job.”

Warren also highlighted the importance of education for people with disabilities. She has introduced legislation for both trade programs and post-secondary education that benefits people with disabilities.

“​I introduced and passed the Free Career and Technical Education for High School Students Act in order to direct federal funding streams toward reducing or eliminating out-of-pocket costs associated with Career and Technical Education programs for high school students, including students with disabilities,” Warren said. ​“If classes that prepare high school students for college are free, then career training classes that prepare students to enter the workforce should also be free.”

Accessibility can be a hurdle for college students with disabilities. Warren addressed this with her AIM HIGH Act, which created “guidelines for accessible instructional materials on college campuses.”

“I recognize that many students face special obstacles to their education, and I will always stand up for programs that help to level the playing field,” Warren said.

View Warren’s full response to the questionnaire below:

With 61.4% of Massachusettsians with Disabilities Out of Work, Warren Discusses Job Prospects

Boston, Massachusetts, Oct. 25 – With 61.4 percent of Massachusetts’ 390,729 working-age people with disabilities out of work, incumbent U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat, has issued an official response to a questionnaire by the disabilities advocacy group RespectAbility, outlining her views on training and hiring people with disabilities.

In responses to 10 questions submitted by the organization, Warren said that “today, it is perfectly legal for an employer to hire workers with disabilities and pay them below what they pay workers without disabilities for doing the same work.”

She added that employers who hire employees with disabilities “can even apply for permission to pay workers with disabilities below the federal minimum wage. This is absolutely shameful, and I’ve called on the Department of Labor to crack down on employers that abuse that abuse this policy.”

Warren noted that “accessible public transportation also ensures that workers with disabilities can safely commute to work.”

“I helped to secure over $9 million in federal grants to make vital improvements to the dock at the Hingham Ferry Terminal in Massachusetts, bringing the dock into full ADA compliance and ensuring that it is accessible to all riders.”

“Our nation was founded on the principle that anyone who works hard should be able to get ahead in life,” said RespectAbility’s President, Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi. “People with disabilities deserve equal opportunity to earn an income and achieve independence just like anyone else.”

RespectAbility also reached out repeatedly to Warren’s opponent, Republican Geoff Diehl, but received no response to the questionnaire from him, according to Mizrahi.

The full text of RespectAbility’s questions and Sen. Warren’s responses follows:

Warren Completes Disabilities Questionnaire

Washington, D.C., Oct. 17 – Responding today to a questionnaire by the disability advocacy group RespectAbility, Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren outlined her views on training and hiring the 371,800 working-age people with disabilities in Massachusetts, who have an unemployment rate of 61.1 percent. According to a recent survey, 74 percent of likely voters have…