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Category: Senate

New Hampshire’s Hassan Completes #PwDsVote Senate Campaign Questionnaire

headshot of Gov. Maggie Hassan
Maggie Hassan

Washington, Sept. 7 – 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 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.

#PwDsVote Campaign Questionnaire: Call to Action

Washington, Sept. 7 – With just 61 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 15 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!

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. Why are we focusing on candidates for governor and U.S. Senate? The reason is simple. We hope that voters who care about disability issues will have the opportunity to compare how the candidates responded to the same questions in their own words.

The questionnaire itself has been written in a way that is acceptable for 501c3 nonprofits, is nonpartisan and is not electioneering. RespectAbility is nonpartisan and does not endorse candidates. The questionnaire is purely for educational purposes.

First Ever Senate / Governor Disability Vote Campaign Questionnaire

Washington, Sept. 6 – Employment. Stigma. Education. Criminal Justice. Independent Living. Sexual Assault. Housing. Transportation. Adaptive Technology. Fifteen candidates for Senate or Governor have given 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. Only one-in-three working-age Americans with a disability has a job, despite the fact that studies show that 70 percent want to work. Moreover, according to Disability & Criminal Justice Reform: Keys to Success, more than 750,000 people with disabilities are behind bars in our nation. Disability is the only minority group that people can join at any time due to accident, illness or aging.

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.

Nevada’s Masto Completes #PwDsVote Senate Campaign Questionnaire

Headshot of Catherine Cortez Masto wearing a red blazer and white top with the backdrop of a formal living room
Catherine Cortez Masto

Washington, Sept. 5 – 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 Catherine Cortez Masto 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.

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.

Maryland’s Szeliga Completes #PwDsVote Senate Campaign Questionnaire

Headshot of Kathy Szeliga in a dark top against a gray background, smiling and facing camera
Kathy Szeliga

Washington, Sept. 3 – 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. Del. Kathy Szeliga, a Republican seeking the open U.S. Senate seat representing Maryland, along with Democrat Chris Van Hollen who also is running for the seat, 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.

There are 321,409 Marylanders with disabilities who are between the ages of 18-64. Additionally, there are 22,000 Marylanders ages 16-20 with disabilities. More than 90,000 Maryland students have individual education plans (IEPs). However, many Marylanders with disabilities have not yet received a disability diagnosis they need, and thus are not yet receiving the school accommodations and supports that they need to succeed. Many students who might need support to succeed academically instead find themselves trapped into a lifetime of poverty or flowing down the school to prison pipeline.

North Carolina’s Burr Completes #PwDsVote Senate Campaign Questionnaire

Official headshot of Richard Burr wearing a suit and tie
Richard Burr

Washington, Sept. 1 – 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 incumbent Sen. Richard Burr, along with Democratic hopeful Deborah Ross, 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.

Only 30 percent of North Carolina’s 715,508 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.

Both Burr and Ross submitted their responses by the deadline, making North Carolina’s Senate race the first race to have all candidates respond.

We are presenting Burr’s answers in full below.

North Carolina’s Ross Completes #PwDsVote Senate Campaign Questionnaire

official headshot of Deborah Ross against gray background
Deborah Ross

Washington, Sept. 1 – 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. Democratic hopeful former State Rep. Deborah Ross, along with Republican incumbent Sen. Richard Burr, 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.

Only 30 percent of North Carolina’s 715,508 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.

Both Ross and Burr submitted their responses by the deadline, making North Carolina’s Senate race the first race to have all candidates respond.

We are presenting Ross’ answers in full below.

Maryland’s Van Hollen Completes #PwDsVote Senate Campaign Questionnaire

Headshot of Chris Van Hollen in a black suit, blue shirt and red tie
Chris Van Hollen

Washington, Aug. 30 – 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. Chris Van Hollen, a Democrat seeking the open U.S. Senate seat representing Maryland, has 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.

There are 321,409 Marylanders with disabilities who are between the ages of 18-64. Additionally, there are 22,000 Marylanders ages 16-20 with disabilities. More than 90,000 Maryland students have individual education plans (IEPs). However, many Marylanders with disabilities have not yet received a disability diagnosis they need, and thus are not yet receiving the school accommodations and supports that they need to succeed. Many students who might need support to succeed academically instead find themselves trapped into a lifetime of poverty or flowing down the school to prison pipeline.

Louisiana’s Campbell Completes #PwDsVote Senate Campaign Questionnaire

Foster Campbell talking to a constituent
Foster Campbell

Washington, Aug. 30 – 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. Democratic hopeful Foster Campbell is one of three candidates for U.S. Senate in Louisiana to have completed the #PwDsVote Disability Campaign Questionnaire for Senate and Gubernatorial Candidates for people with disabilities so far.

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

Campbell, who lost the sight in one of his eyes many years ago, says he “faces challenges and opportunities based on my own disabilities.”

Louisiana’s Fayard Completes #PwDsVote Senate Campaign Questionnaire

Headshot of Caroline Fayard standing outside wearing blue blazer and pink shirt
Caroline Fayard

Washington, Aug. 30 – 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. Democratic hopeful Caroline Fayard is one of three candidates for U.S. Senate in Louisiana to have completed the #PwDsVote Disability Campaign Questionnaire for Senate and Gubernatorial Candidates for people with disabilities so far.

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

Only 31 percent of Louisiana’s 366,000 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.

Louisiana’s Patel Completes #PwDsVote Senate Campaign Questionnaire

Abhay Patel standing and smiling facing the camera while being outside in front of greenery and a building to the side
Abhay Patel

Washington, Aug. 30 – 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 hopeful Abhay Patel is one of three candidates for U.S. Senate in Louisiana to have completed the #PwDsVote Disability Campaign Questionnaire for Senate and Gubernatorial Candidates for people with disabilities so far.

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

Patel is an individual with a disability.

“Having lived and succeeded with a disability since my teens, I filter every issue through the framework of living with a disability,” Patel responded in his answer to the first question.

Pennsylvania’s McGinty Completes #PwDsVote Senate Campaign Questionnaire

Headshot of Katie McGinty wearing a red suit and white collared top in front of a bookcase
Katie McGinty

Washington, Aug. 30 – 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. Democratic Senate hopeful Katie McGinty of Pennsylvania has 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.

There are 1,689,123 Pennsylvanians with disabilities, 831,700 of whom are between the ages of 21-64. There are an additional 59,000 people with disabilities between the ages of 16-20, many of whom are looking to enter the workforce. Pennsylvania’s Governor, Tom Wolf, recently issued an extremely positive executive order to expand job opportunities for people with disabilities.

But Pennsylvania ranks just 31st in the percent of people with disabilities employed (34.5 percent). Furthermore, these statistics include those employed in sheltered workshops and/or only working part time. View the rankings of all 50 states and compare.

Wisconsin’s Feingold Completes #PwDsVote Senate Campaign Questionnaire

Headshot of Russ Feingold
Russ Feingold

Washington, Aug. 30 – 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. Former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, a Democrat who is running for his old Senate seat, has 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.

These issues are important for the fully one-out-of-five voters who have a disability, and 52 percent of likely voters have a loved one with a disability.  Only 34 percent of working-age Americans with disabilities have jobs, despite the fact that the vast majority want to work. More than 11 million working age people with disabilities are now living on government benefits in our country.

Wisconsin’s 39.8 percent labor force participation rate (LFPR) for people with disabilities is well above the national average of 30 percent. However, states like North and South Dakota have both achieved a 50 percent LFPR level for people with disabilities. View the rankings of all 50 states and compare.

Republican Dwight Young Gets Personal in Response to #PwDsVote Senate Campaign Questionnaire

Headshot of Dwight Young with American flag in background
Dwight Young

Washington, Aug. 29 – As voters in Florida head to the polls for their state’s primary day for U.S. Senate tomorrow, RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization working to empower people with disabilities to achieve the American dream, asked all candidates for Florida’s senate seat on both sides of the aisle to complete questionnaire on disability issues. While none of the primary candidates submitted answers to the questions, Republican hopeful Dwight Young shared a letter about his personal experience in connection to disability.

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

Following the conclusion of the primaries, RespectAbility will continue to seek responses from the victorious candidates and publish those responses when they are received.

We are presenting Young’s response in full below.