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Category: #PwDsVote 2016 Questionnaire

Where Do Candidates Stand on Sexual Assault and Rape?

Washington, Oct. 14 – Given the news cycle, talk about sexual assault and rape has increased. It’s important to note that children with disabilities are three times more likely to be victims of rape or sexual assault than children without disabilities. Victims of assault are more likely to commit crimes.…

Illinois’ Tammy Duckworth Completes #PwDsVote Senate Campaign Questionnaire

Washington, Oct. 14 – RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization working to empower people with disabilities to achieve the American dream, has asked senate candidates on both sides of the aisle to fill out a questionnaire on disability issues. Rep. Tammy Duckworth, who is challenging incumbent Sen. Mark Kirk for the U.S. Senate in Illinois, responded to…

The Importance of Down Ballot Elections for Disability Rights

Updated Oct. 17 to include additional candidate responses Washington, Oct. 11 – While the presidential election has taken up much of the news cycle, attention also is shifting to who will control the Senate. As such, RespectAbility has reached out to candidates running for Senate as well as Governor in the…

Disability Issues Missing At Second Presidential Debate

Washington, Oct. 10 – For last night night’s town hall style debate, ABC and CNN welcomed questions submitted via the Open Debate Coalition’s portal. All of the top 30 questions that moderators promised to consider received more than 20,000 votes, and an important disability rights question had nearly 12,000 votes. Yet none…

Oregon’s Mark Callahan Completes #PwDsVote Senate Campaign Questionnaire

Mark Callahan headshot
Mark Callahan

Washington, Oct. 4 – RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization working to empower people with disabilities to achieve the American dream, has asked Senate candidates on both sides of the aisle to fill out a questionnaire on disability issues. Mark Callahan, a Republican challenging incumbent Sen. Ron Wyden to be the next U.S. Senator representing Oregon, responded to the #PwDsVote Disability Campaign Questionnaire for Senate and Gubernatorial Candidates for people with disabilities.

RespectAbility is nonpartisan and does not endorse candidates. The questionnaire is purely for educational purposes.

There are 571,982 people with a disability in Oregon, 274,900 of whom are of working age (between the ages of 21 and 64). There are an additional 14,000 people ages 16-20 with disabilities, many of whom are hoping to enter the workforce. Oregon’s voters are looking to know where the candidates stand on important disability issues in order to increase opportunities for competitive, integrated employment for people with disabilities.

Oregon currently holds a 36.4 percent labor force participation rate for people with disabilities and ranks 24th out of all fifty states. Other states, such as the Dakotas, have reached rates around fifty percent, showing that improving outcomes for people with disabilities is certainly possible when best practices are implemented. View the rankings of all 50 states and compare.

Call to Action: #PwDsVote Campaign Questionnaire

Washington, Sept. 30 – With just 38 days until Election Day, RespectAbility is calling on all candidates for governor or Senate to complete the #PwDsVote Senate & Gubernatorial Disability Questionnaire. “PwDs” stands for “people with disabilities.” So far, Hillary Clinton and 30 candidates for Senate or Governor from both parties have done so. Now we’re calling on you to help to encourage the remainder. A number of candidates, including Donald Trump, have yet to fill out a nonpartisan candidate questionnaire on issues vital to America’s 56 million citizens with disabilities!

The down-ballot responses received so far are from candidates on both sides of the aisle – with 18 from Democrats and 12 from Republicans, demonstrating how disability rights is a nonpartisan issue. The responses also are geographically-diverse, coming from states all around the country.

Call and tweet candidates and demand that they respond to the questionnaire. Tell them why it’s important to you!

This is the first time down-ballot candidates have been asked to complete a questionnaire about disability-related issues on such a wide scale. The answers to these questionnaires are being posted on The RespectAbility Report and will be used for individualized state voter guides.

Kansas’ Patrick Wiesner Completes #PwDsVote Senate Campaign Questionnaire

Patrick Wiesner headshot in front of bookshelves and an American flag
Patrick Wiesner

Washington, Sept. 29 – RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization working to empower people with disabilities to achieve the American dream, has asked Senate candidates on both sides of the aisle to fill out a questionnaire on disability issues. Patrick Wiesner, a Democrat challenging incumbent Sen. Jerry Moran to be the next U.S. Senator representing Kansas, responded to the #PwDsVote Disability Campaign Questionnaire for Senate and Gubernatorial Candidates for people with disabilities.

RespectAbility is nonpartisan and does not endorse candidates. The questionnaire is purely for educational purposes.

RespectAbility also has sent the questionnaire to the campaign of incumbent Republican Sen. Jerry Moran, who is running for re-election. We will post his responses when we receive them.

30 Candidates Respond to #PwDsVote Down Ballot Campaign Questionnaire

30 Senate and Gubernatorial Candidates, as well as Hillary Clinton, Respond to #PwDsVote Campaign Questionnaire

Washington, Sept. 29 – As more candidates begin to understand the importance of including people with disabilities within their campaigns, they start thinking about issues of critical importance to the disability community.

A recently released Pew poll shows that voters with disabilities span the political and demographic spectrum and can determine who wins the elections.

Political campaigns know that this is a swing vote and Sec. Hillary Clinton has made this a new centerpiece of her campaign. Likewise, Republican Sen. Richard Burr in North Carolina has made it central to his re-election effort.

To date, 30 down ballot candidates have responded to the #PwDsVote 2016 Senate & Gubernatorial Disability Questionnaire, devoting time and energy to addressing disability issues. Since the first release earlier this month, 15 additional politicians have submitted their responses – making a total of 30 candidates for Senate or Governor to have provided detailed answers about their views on these issues for people with disabilities.

This is the first time down-ballot candidates have been asked to complete a questionnaire about disability-related issues on such a wide scale.

New Hampshire’s Ayotte Completes #PwDsVote Senate Campaign Questionnaire

Kelly Ayotte headshot outside wearing white shirt and red jacket
Kelly Ayotte

Washington, Sept. 28 – RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization working to empower people with disabilities to achieve the American dream, has asked Senate candidates on both sides of the aisle to fill out a questionnaire on disability issues. Incumbent Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte, along with her challenger current Gov. Maggie Hassan, completed the #PwDsVote Disability Campaign Questionnaire for Senate and Gubernatorial Candidates for people with disabilities.

RespectAbility is nonpartisan and does not endorse candidates. The questionnaire is purely for educational purposes.

166,258 people in New Hampshire have a disability, 77,800 of whom are of are working age (between the ages of 21 and 64). Only 41.8 percent are employed compared with 80.3 percent of people without disabilities in New Hampshire. There are an additional 5,900 people ages 16-20 with disabilities, many of whom are hoping to enter the workforce. New Hampshire’s voters are looking to know where the candidates stand on important disability issues in order to increase opportunities for competitive, integrated employment for people with disabilities.

Oregon’s Bud Pierce Responds to #PwDsVote Gubernatorial Campaign Questionnaire

Bud Pierce headshot of blue checkered button down shirt
Bud Pierce

Washington, Sept. 28 – RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization working to empower people with disabilities to achieve the American dream, has asked gubernatorial candidates on both sides of the aisle to fill out a questionnaire on disability issues. Dr. Bud Pierce, a Republican challenging incumbent Gov. Kate Brown for the office of governor in Oregon, responded to the #PwDsVote Disability Campaign Questionnaire for Senate and Gubernatorial Candidates for people with disabilities.

RespectAbility is nonpartisan and does not endorse candidates. The questionnaire is purely for educational purposes.

While Pierce did not answer each question individually, he sent a statement addressing several of the issues brought up in the questionnaire including the “dignity of work for all Oregonians.”

Washington’s Bill Bryant Responds to #PwDsVote Gubernatorial Campaign Questionnaire

Bill Bryant headshot
Bill Bryant

Washington, Sept. 28 – RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization working to empower people with disabilities to achieve the American dream, has asked gubernatorial candidates on both sides of the aisle to fill out a questionnaire on disability issues. Bill Bryant, a Republican challenging incumbent Gov. Jay Inslee for the office of governor in Washington state, responded to the #PwDsVote Disability Campaign Questionnaire for Senate and Gubernatorial Candidates for people with disabilities.

RespectAbility is nonpartisan and does not endorse candidates. The questionnaire is purely for educational purposes.

While Bryant did not answer each question individually, he sent a letter addressing several of the issues brought up in the questionnaire including employment. He also talked about how his nephew’s disability influences his views.

Utah’s Mike Weinholtz Completes #PwDsVote Gubernatorial Campaign Questionnaire

headshot of Mike Weinholtz
Mike Weinholtz

Washington, Sept. 28 – RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization working to empower people with disabilities to achieve the American dream, has asked gubernatorial candidates on both sides of the aisle to fill out a questionnaire on disability issues. Mike Weinholtz, a Democrat challenging incumbent Gov. Gary Herbert to be the next governor of Utah, responded to the #PwDsVote Disability Campaign Questionnaire for Senate and Gubernatorial Candidates for people with disabilities.

RespectAbility is nonpartisan and does not endorse candidates. The questionnaire is purely for educational purposes.

42.5 percent of Utah’s more than 135,000 working-age people with disabilities are employed. While this number is higher than the national average, this lack of opportunity creates poverty, powerlessness and even can increase the likelihood of developing a mental health condition. Polls and studies show that people with disabilities want the opportunity to have the dignity and independence that jobs provide.

Alabama’s Ron Crumpton Responds to #PwDsVote Senate Campaign Questionnaire

Ron Crumpton headshot
Ron Crumpton

Washington, Sept. 28 – RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization working to empower people with disabilities to achieve the American dream, has asked senate candidates on both sides of the aisle to fill out a questionnaire on disability issues. Ron Crumpton, a Democrat challenging incumbent Sen. Richard Shelby for the U.S. Senate seat representing Alabama, responded to the #PwDsVote Disability Campaign Questionnaire for Senate and Gubernatorial Candidates for people with disabilities.

RespectAbility is nonpartisan and does not endorse candidates. The questionnaire is purely for educational purposes.

Only 27 percent of Alabama’s working-age people with disabilities are employed. This lack of opportunity creates poverty, powerlessness and even can increase the likelihood of developing a mental health condition.

While Crumpton did not answer each question individually, he sent a letter addressing several of the issues brought up in the questionnaire including education, employment, healthcare and caregivers. He also talked about how his own disability and that of his nephew influence his views.

Missouri’s Jason Kander Completes #PwDsVote Senate Campaign Questionnaire

headshot of Jason Kander
Jason Kander

Washington, Sept. 28 – RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization working to empower people with disabilities to achieve the American dream, has asked Senate candidates on both sides of the aisle to fill out a questionnaire on disability issues. Missouri’s Secretary of State Jason Kander, a Democrat running to be the next U.S. Senator representing Missouri, responded to the #PwDsVote Disability Campaign Questionnaire for Senate and Gubernatorial Candidates for people with disabilities.

RespectAbility is nonpartisan and does not endorse candidates. The questionnaire is purely for educational purposes.

Only 33 percent of Missouri’s more than 450,000 working-age people with disabilities are employed. This lack of opportunity creates poverty, powerlessness and even can increase the likelihood of developing a mental health condition.

South Dakota’s Jay Williams Completes #PwDsVote Senate Campaign Questionnaire

Headshot of Jay Williams
Jay Williams

Washington, Sept. 27 – RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization working to empower people with disabilities to achieve the American dream, has asked Senate candidates on both sides of the aisle to fill out a questionnaire on disability issues. Democrat Jay Williams, who is challenging incumbent Sen. John Thune for the U.S. Senate seat representing South Dakota, completed the #PwDsVote Disability Campaign Questionnaire for Senate and Gubernatorial Candidates for people with disabilities.

RespectAbility is nonpartisan and does not endorse candidates. The questionnaire is purely for educational purposes.

South Dakota ranks first in the nation for employment of people with disabilities as more than half the working-age people with disabilities (50.1 percent) in South Dakota have a job. Indeed, individuals with disabilities in South Dakota are TWICE as likely to be working as those in the worst performing state of West Virginia where only 25.6 percent have jobs. Rounding out the top five states in terms of best outcomes are North Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska and Wyoming.

California’s Kamala Harris Completes #PwDsVote Senate Campaign Questionnaire

headshot of Kamala Harris
Kamala Harris

Washington, Sept. 27 – RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization working to empower people with disabilities to achieve the American dream, has asked Senate candidates on both sides of the aisle to fill out a questionnaire on disability issues. Democrat Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris, as well as Democrat Rep. Loretta Sanchez, who are both running for the open U.S. Senate seat representing California, completed the #PwDsVote Disability Campaign Questionnaire for Senate and Gubernatorial Candidates for people with disabilities.

RespectAbility is nonpartisan and does not endorse candidates. The questionnaire is purely for educational purposes.

California has 5.9 million eligible voters with a disability, and they are looking to know where the candidates stand on important disability issues in order to increase opportunities for competitive, integrated employment for people with disabilities.

22 Candidates Respond to #PwDsVote Down Ballot Campaign Questionnaire

22 Senate and Gubernatorial Candidates, as well as Hillary Clinton, Respond to #PwDsVote Campaign Questionnaire

Washington, Sept. 23 – As more candidates begin to understand the importance of including people with disabilities within their campaigns, they begin to think about issues of critical importance to the disability community.

A just-released Pew poll shows that voters with disabilities span the political and demographic spectrum and can determine who wins the elections.

Political campaigns know that this is a swing vote and Sec. Hillary Clinton has made this a new centerpiece of her campaign. Likewise, Republican Sen. Richard Burr in North Carolina has made it central to his re-election effort.

To date, 22 down ballot candidates have responded to the #PwDsVote 2016 Senate & Gubernatorial Disability Questionnaire, devoting time and energy to addressing disability issues. Since the first release earlier this month, seven additional politicians have submitted their responses – making a total of 22 candidates for Senate or Governor to have provided detailed answers about their views on these issues for people with disabilities.

This is the first time down-ballot candidates have been asked to complete a questionnaire about disability-related issues on such a wide scale.

Nevada’s Joe Heck Completes #PwDsVote Senate Campaign Questionnaire

official headshot of Joe Heck
Joe Heck

Washington, Sept. 23 – RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization working to empower people with disabilities to achieve the American dream, has asked Senate candidates on both sides of the aisle to fill out a questionnaire on disability issues. Republican Joe Heck completed the #PwDsVote Disability Campaign Questionnaire for Senate and Gubernatorial Candidates for people with disabilities. His competitor, Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto, previously completed the questionnaire.

RespectAbility is nonpartisan and does not endorse candidates. The questionnaire is purely for educational purposes.

Only four out of ten of Nevada‘s 171,600 working-age people with disabilities are employed. This creates poverty, powerlessness, and poor health. People with disabilities want the opportunity to have the dignity that jobs provide.

Two employers in Nevada that have provided exemplar models for other businesses to follow in hiring individuals with disabilities are PEPSI and Starbucks. Each of these companies stands as a great example of win-win-win policies that help employers, people with disabilities and taxpayers alike.

Clinton Set to Unveil Economic Plan for People with Disabilities

22 Senate and Gubernatorial Candidates, as well as Hillary Clinton, Respond to #PwDsVote Campaign Questionnaire

Orlando, Sept. 21 – Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is devoting this afternoon’s rally to her plan on creating an economy that values people with disabilities. Per an aide, Clinton will propose an economy that “welcomes people with disabilities, values their work, rewards them fairly, and treats them with respect.”

Just yesterday, reality TV star Nyle DiMarco starred in an ad for Clinton that is completely in sign language with English captions. “We’re used to being ignored,” DiMarco says, before stating that there are a lot of people with disabilities without a voice.

“The voice of your vote is the greatest voice we have,” he concludes, urging all people to get out the vote for Hillary Clinton.

It’s important to note, however, that examples of disability outreach are on both sides of the aisle, especially when you look down ballot. Earlier this month, GOP Sen. Richard Burr‘s campaign produced a new statewide television ad in North Carolina highlighting his work in support of the bi-partisan Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act. This new law, which also was supported by Maryland Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen, creates new savings accounts for individuals with disabilities in order to pay for qualified disability expenses.

All of this comes at a time of multiple down ballot candidates responding to the #PwDsVote 2016 Senate & Gubernatorial Disability Questionnaire, devoting time and energy to addressing disability issues. Since the first release earlier this month, seven additional politicians have submitted their responses – making a total of 22 candidates for Senate or Governor to have provided detailed answers about their views on these issues for people with disabilities.

More Candidates Respond to Senate / Governor Disability Vote Campaign Questionnaire

Washington, Sept. 19 – Since the first release earlier this month, six additional politicians have submitted their responses for the #PwDsVote 2016 Senate & Gubernatorial Disability Questionnaire – making a total of 21 candidates for Senate or Governor to have provided detailed answers about their views on these issues for people with disabilities.

The more than 56 million people with disabilities in the U.S. have a long list of policy concerns for the candidates running for governor and the U.S. Senate in 2016: Employment. Stigma. Education. Criminal Justice. Independent Living. Sexual Assault. Housing. Transportation. Adaptive Technology.

RespectAbility, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization advancing opportunities for people with disabilities, asked candidates on both sides of the aisle to complete a 16 (for gubernatorial) or 17 (for Senate) question survey. The questionnaire asked for their positions on a range of issues important to the disability community, a group that makes up fully one-in-five Americans. Their answers are posted verbatim and in full here on The RespectAbility Report, a publication that covers the intersection of disability and politics.

This is the first time down-ballot candidates have been asked to complete a questionnaire about disability-related issues on such a wide scale.