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Category: Republicans

Tillis Completes Disability Candidate Questionnaire for North Carolina Senate Race

Key actions and positions posted on the intersection of disability and education, jobs, immigration, climate crisis, criminal justice and more

headshot Thom Tillis
North Carolina Incumbent Republican Sen. Thom Tillis

Raleigh, NC, Sept. 16 – Incumbent Republican Senator Thom Tillis has responded to a detailed candidate questionnaire on disability issues. The questionnaire is from RespectAbility, a nonpartisan nonprofit disability organization that does not endorse candidates. The questionnaire is purely for educational purposes. RespectAbility has reached out to key Senate and gubernatorial campaigns on both sides of the aisle and will be posting all responses on The RespectAbility Report. The full text of RespectAbility’s questions and Tillis’ responses follows:


1. Learning during the COVID-19 pandemic has led to more issues and concerns for all students and their families, but this is especially true for students with disabilities. Additionally, the gap in graduation and drop-out rates between students with and without disabilities continues to undermine their futures. For example, in the class of 2018, only 66 percent of Black students with disabilities, 71 percent of Hispanic students with disabilities, 77 percent of white students with disabilities, and 79 percent of Asian-American students with disabilities completed high school. Furthermore, just seven percent of students born with a disability graduate from college. What is your plan for ensuring that all students with disabilities receive a quality and appropriate education to acquire the critical and marketable skills necessary to compete in a job-driven economy?

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed strain and major disruptions on our children, parents, teachers, and communities in North Carolina. That is why one of my highest priorities during this pandemic has been to secure emergency relief funds for our schools and students. I worked to secure $13.2 billion in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act for K-12 schools and students and an additional $3 billion in flexible emergency block grants designed to enable state governments to decide how best to meet the needs of their students and school districts. These funds are already being used in North Carolina to support the academic needs of at-risk students and students with disabilities through additional in-school support, after-school programming, tutoring, and hiring more teachers and teacher assistants to serve our special needs student population. 

I believe that the opportunity to work and pursue self-sufficiency plays a critical role in giving students with disabilities the critical skills needed to compete in a job-driven economy. We must work to ensure that students, including those with disabilities, have the skills and tools needed to find high-skill, high-wage, and in-demand jobs, which is why I was a strong supporter of the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act. I am working in coordination with our school districts, the Department of Public Instruction, and the State Board of Education as they work to get students back to receiving stable and reliable education during this unprecedented time and I will continue to advocate for the needs of our students during this pandemic.  

14 Candidates for Governor and Senate Complete Disability Questionnaire

Washington, D.C., Sept. 14 – With 50 days left until Election Day and with many voters deciding to vote early, candidates across the political spectrum are reaching out to a previously ignored block of voters: people with disabilities.

Polling conducted earlier this year showed that more than half of the electorate in the battleground (59 percent) self-identifies as having a disability (16 percent), having a family member with a disability (32 percent) or having a close friend with a disability (11 percent).

According to Rutgers University, 14.3 million citizens with disabilities voted in 2018. Those voters will be crucial as both Democrats and Republicans vie for votes this year. In response to this opportunity, campaigns and candidates across the country are going on the record about their policies and plans to help Americans with disabilities. Those plans are being documented online by RespectAbility, a national nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community.

RespectAbility is a non-partisan group and have been thorough in reaching out to Democratic and Republican candidates equally. The team at RespectAbility is still actively soliciting responses to their questionnaire from campaigns that have not yet done so.

RespectAbility has been actively engaging with campaigns to both educate them about disability issues and to get campaigns to complete RespectAbility’s 2020 Disability Voter Questionnaire.  You can find full, detailed converge online at https://therespectabilityreport.org.

Holcomb Responds to Disability Candidate Questionnaire for Indiana Governor Race

Key actions and positions posted on the intersection of disability and education, jobs, immigration, climate crisis, criminal justice and more

headshot Eric Holcomb
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb

Indianapolis, IN, Sept. 11– In response to RespectAbility’s 2020 Disability Voter Questionnaire for Senate and Governor Races, Indiana’s Republican Governor Eric Holcomb and Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch have responded with the following letter detailing some of their past efforts to support Hoosiers with disabilities and their shared vision for the future of Indiana. The full text of their letter follows:


Supporting Hoosiers with disabilities is an issue that Governor Holcomb and Lt. Governor Crouch are passionate about. Lt. Governor Crouch has been a champion of Hoosiers with disabilities throughout her entire career in public service and her passion for this issue continues to have a tremendous impact on the approximately 100,000 Hoosiers with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

The very first bill governor Holcomb signed into law was one that provided more transportation options for students with disabilities. He also signed landmark legislation that supports the independence of Hoosiers with disabilities and created the taskforce for assessment of services and support for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Lt. Governor Crouch chaired this taskforce.

Daines Completes Disability Candidate Questionnaire for Montana Senate Race

Key actions and positions posted on the intersection of disability and education, jobs, immigration, climate crisis, criminal justice and more

headshot Steve Daines
Montana Sen. Steve Daines

Helena, MT. Sept. 10 – Incumbent Republican Senator Steve Daines has responded to a detailed candidate questionnaire on disability issues. The questionnaire is from RespectAbility, a nonpartisan nonprofit disability organization that does not endorse candidates. The questionnaire is purely for educational purposes. RespectAbility has reached out to key Senate and gubernatorial campaigns on both sides of the aisle and will be posting all responses on The RespectAbility Report. The full text of RespectAbility’s questions and Sen. Daines’ responses follow:


1. Learning during the COVID-19 pandemic has led to more issues and concerns for all students and their families, but this is especially true for students with disabilities. Additionally, the gap in graduation and drop-out rates between students with and without disabilities continues to undermine their futures. For example, in the class of 2018, only 66 percent of Black students with disabilities, 71 percent of Hispanic students with disabilities, 77 percent of white students with disabilities, and 79 percent of Asian-American students with disabilities completed high school. Furthermore, just seven percent of students born with a disability graduate from college. What is your plan for ensuring that all students with disabilities receive a quality and appropriate education to acquire the critical and marketable skills necessary to compete in a job-driven economy?

We need to ensure that all Americans with disabilities have access to the education opportunities that best fit their needs.That’s why I have always supported school choice – we need to be empowering parents and students to find what best fits them. As a father of four children, I understand that what one kid needs isn’t the same as what the other may need – that’s why as families, we must have the tools to ensure each one of our children has the education opportunities that’s the best option for them. I was proud to support IDEA funding, which provides critical education resources for those with disabilities and I’ll continue working to ensure those with disabilities have the resources they need to get the education they deserve and compete in today’s economy.

Collins Completes Disability Candidate Questionnaire for Maine Senate Race

Key actions and positions posted on the intersection of disability and education, jobs, immigration, climate crisis, criminal justice and more

headshot Susan Collins
Maine Sen. Susan Collins

Portland, ME, Sept. 8 – In response to RespectAbility’s 2020 Disability Voter Questionnaire for Senate and Governor Races, Maine’s Republican Senator and embattled incumbent Susan Collins has responded with the following letter detailing some of her major legislative accomplishments, her past efforts to support Mainers with disabilities and her vision for the future of this country. The questionnaire is from RespectAbility, a nonpartisan nonprofit disability organization that does not endorse candidates. The questionnaire is purely for educational purposes. RespectAbility has reached out to key Senate and gubernatorial campaigns on both sides of the aisle and will be posting all responses on The RespectAbility Report.


While Sen. Collins did not answer each question directly, the full text of her letter follows:

Dear Mr. Kahn-Pauli,

Thank you for reaching out to inquire about RespectAbility’s policy priorities. I believe that actions speak louder than words, which is why it is my policy to allow organizations to grade me on my voting record, rather than on answers to questionnaires.

I welcome the opportunity to share my record in support of full community engagement for the one out of five Americans living with disabilities. This minority is the largest in the nation, and unique in that it is the only type that any individual can join at any point in their lives. As Senator and as Chairman of the Senate Aging Committee, I have long advocated for policies to promote equal opportunities and inclusive services for people with disabilities from childhood to senior years. We have made strides to improve education, employment, healthcare, and housing for people with disabilities. Now, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has exacerbated disparities, we must further advance public policies to promote inclusion for those living with disabilities, and I’m committed to achieving this goal.

Republican National Convention & People with Disabilities

Washington, D.C., August 28 – The 2020 Republican National Convention, which took place over the course of this week as a mixture of live and prerecorded events, gave prominent focus to people with disabilities in prime time speaking slots.  By doing so, as with the previous week’s Democratic National Convention,…

Trump Campaign Surrogate Reaches Out to People with Disabilities

Washington, D.C., August 21 – On behalf of the Trump Campaign, Lara Trump reached out to the 1-in-5 people who live with a physical, sensory, cognitive, mental health or other disability on the occasion of the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“It is my and President Trump’s belief that every American should have the utmost chance to pursue his or her American dream.” Trump said at a national #ADA30 summit sponsored by RespectAbility, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that fights stigmas and advances opportunities for people with disabilities. “We look forward to working with you all going forward to ensure the American dream is accessible to everyone.” More than 10,000 people watched RespectAbility’s online summit. 

Gov. Larry Hogan Reaches Out to People with Disabilities

Washington, D.C., August 20 – Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan reached out to the 1-in-5 people who live with a physical, sensory, cognitive, mental health or other disability on the occasion of the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“I truly believe our state is stronger when all of our citizens are able to contribute to their communities and reap the rewards of those contributions,” Gov. Hogan said at a national #ADA30 summit sponsored by RespectAbility, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that fights stigmas and advances opportunities for people with disabilities. “Our administration remains committed to doing everything we can to make sure that adults with disabilities can obtain meaningful work, and to ensure that our schools and public places are examples of inclusion in both attitude and action.” More than 10,000 people watched RespectAbility’s online summit. 

Trump and Biden Campaigns to Speak at Disability Summit

Washington, D.C., July 31 – With 94 days until the Presidential election, surrogates from the Trump and the Biden campaigns will address a nationwide audience of more than 2,000 disability advocates, subject matter experts and community leaders gathered to mark the thirtieth anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

Since Monday, July 27, the national disability nonprofit RespectAbility has hosted a series of virtual #ADA30 events focused on some of the most critical issues impacting people with disabilities in our nation today. 

RespectAbility Releases 2020 Disability Voter Questionnaire for Senate and Governor Races

Washington, D.C., July 24 – RespectAbility, a nonpartisan national nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community, is now sending its nonpartisan voter questionnaire to candidates in competitive Senate and Governors races across the country.

The outreach is being done in conjunction with RespectAbility’s online publication, TheRespectAbilityReport.org, an online publication around the intersection of disability and electoral politics. The answers to the questionnaire will be turned into nonpartisan voter guides in key battleground states across the country. This questionnaire builds on candidate outreach work done earlier this year during the Democratic Presidential Primary as well as past work in 2018 and 2016

Biden and Trump campaigns release diversity data – but disability isn’t included

Washington, D.C., July 12 – After increased calls to disclose campaign staff diversity data, both the Biden and Trump campaigns released the diversity statistics of their teams, showing that less than half of their full-time and senior staffs are comprised of minorities. Noticeably absent from the data that has been…

Trump Campaign Surrogate’s Message: “Uplifting and Celebrating Americans with Disabilities”

Washington, D.C., July 7, 2020 – In a video message played at POWER: the Disability Vote, a national, non-partisan Disability & Election Virtual Summit hosted by the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), the Trump reelection campaign finally broke its long silence on disability issues. The President’s daughter-in-law and campaign adviser Lara Trump spoke in a direct message with subtitles about creating “real and meaningful change for the disabilities community” and how “every American should have the utmost chance to pursue his or her American dream.”

The video is the first statement of any kind released by the President’s reelection campaign that touches on the issues impacting more than 60 million Americans living with disabilities. That number includes people with visual impairments or hearing loss, people with visible conditions such as spinal cord injuries, and the wide range of non-visible disabilities such as learning disabilities, mental health disabilities, or autism.

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. 

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.

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. 

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…

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…