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The RespectAbility Report Posts

Coalition Partners Offer Key Solutions to Work Disincentives

Washington, D.C., April 27 – This week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) closed public feedback via a Request for Information (RFI) about key disability topics, benefit system challenges, and economic mobility questions. In response, several national disability advocacy organizations, acting as part of the Consortium for Constituents with Disabilities (CCD), joined forces to develop a thorough set of recommendations to CMS about how to support people with disabilities who want to work. 

The Consortium for Constituents with Disabilities (CCD) is the largest coalition of national organizations working together to advocate for federal public policy that ensures the self-determination, independence, empowerment, integration and inclusion of children and adults with disabilities in all aspects of society.

The Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE), the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL), Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), RespectAbility, and the United Spinal Association, operating under their joint work as the CCD Employment and Training Task Force, collaborated to offer employment-focused policy ideas. Members of the CCD Long-Term Services and Support (LTSS) Task Force offered their own comments with a strong focus on rights, independent living, and continued access to key life-saving benefits. 

ADA Co-Sponsor and Retired Senator Orrin Hatch Dies at Age 88

Washington, D.C., April 25 – This past weekend, former Senator Orrin Hatch died in Salt Lake City, Utah. Originally elected in 1976, Hatch would go on to represent Utah in the United States Senate for seven terms, making him the longest serving Republican Senator in American history. Hatch authored or co-sponsored more than 750 pieces of legislation, including the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008. 

In a public statement, President Joe Biden highlighted the character of the Utahan Senator he worked with for so many years: “Orrin…looked out for the people who often didn’t have a voice in our laws and our country. I saw this in his efforts to pass the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.”

Reflecting on the passing of Sen. Hatch, RespectAbility’s Chairman Ollie Cantos said “Orin Hatch was a man whose achievements are eclipsed only by his strength of character and heart of platinum. As one grateful to have spent individual time with him along with my boys, I will greatly miss him.”

Vasquez Completes Los Angeles-Area Disability Candidate Questionnaire

Los Angeles, April 22 – Candidate for the L.A. City Council Dulce Vasquez 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. 

One-in-five Americans has a disability, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. People with disabilities are America’s largest minority group. It is also the only one that, due to accident, aging or illness, anyone can join at any time. Indeed, there are approximately one million people living in the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area with some form of disability. 

Polls show that the majority of voters have either a disability or a loved one with a disability. Voters with disabilities and their families are up for grabs – and the actions campaigns take to reach out to these voters can make the difference between winning and losing.  

Vasquez is running in the primary to represent the 9th District in the L.A. City Council.

Yebri Completes Los Angeles-Area Disability Candidate Questionnaire

Los Angeles, April 18 – Candidate for the L.A. City Council Sam Yebri 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. 

One-in-five Americans has a disability, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. People with disabilities are America’s largest minority group. It is also the only one that, due to accident, aging or illness, anyone can join at any time. Indeed, there are approximately one million people living in the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area with some form of disability. 

Polls show that the majority of voters have either a disability or a loved one with a disability. Voters with disabilities and their families are up for grabs – and the actions campaigns take to reach out to these voters can make the difference between winning and losing.  

Yebri is running in the primary to represent the 5th District in the L.A. City Council.

Building an Equitable Recovery: RespectAbility Advises Utah on Solutions for People with Disabilities

Salt Lake City, UT, April 14 – This week, the Utah Workforce Development Board met to discuss the status of workforce practices in the Beehive State. In response to this meeting, RespectAbility, a national, non-partisan nonprofit organization, submitted testimony on how to implement best practices, advocate for greater inclusion and improve the standing of people with disabilities in the workforce.

“When it was passed with broad, bipartisan support in 2014, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) invested unprecedented resources into efforts to get people with barriers to employment into the labor force,” said Olegario “Ollie” Cantos VII, RespectAbility’s Chairman. “Now, after the pandemic that has reshaped our economy, it is time to devote significant attention to supporting the economic advancement of students, job-seekers, and entrepreneurs with disabilities.”

There are more than 187,000 working age (18-64) Utahans living with some form of disability. Before the pandemic, 47.5 percent of the working age population of people with disabilities were employed. It is critical that Utah’s Workforce Development Board listen to the individuals with disabilities and advocates impacted by these unemployment rates. In order to make the workforce more inclusive, and to find practical ways to make the workforce more accessible for the entire population, RespectAbility collects, summarizes, and publicizes ideas on key workforce solutions. To learn more about RespectAbility’s advocacy work, please visit our Policy website.

Advancing Competitive Integrated Employment: RespectAbility Advises AbilityOne Commission on Strategic Plan

Washington, D.C., April 13 – One of the nation’s oldest federal disability employment programs is looking ahead and adapting for the future. This week, the U.S. AbilityOne Commission finished collecting public comment and direct feedback on a new 2022-2026 Strategic Plan for the nation’s most important government program to employ people who are blind or have significant disabilities.

Originally founded in 1938 with the passage of the Wagner-O’Day Act, the AbilityOne program directly helps people who are blind or have significant disabilities through employment programs, contracts to satisfy government procurement needs, and a full range of services/supports.

Looking ahead to the future, the AbilityOne Commission, which oversees these programs, is rolling out a new strategic plan to decide on goals, set priorities, and measure success. In response, the national disability inclusion organization RespectAbility developed and submitted a clear set of recommendations and ideas on how to make this strategic plan better.

Murez Completes Los Angeles-Area Disability Candidate Questionnaire

Los Angeles, April 11 – Candidate for the L.A. City Council and Venice Neighborhood Council President Jim Murez 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. 

One-in-five Americans has a disability, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. People with disabilities are America’s largest minority group. It is also the only one that, due to accident, aging or illness, anyone can join at any time. Indeed, there are approximately one million people living in the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area with some form of disability. 

Polls show that the majority of voters have either a disability or a loved one with a disability. Voters with disabilities and their families are up for grabs – and the actions campaigns take to reach out to these voters can make the difference between winning and losing.  

Murez is running in the primary to represent the 11th District in the L.A. City Council.

Park Completes Los Angeles-Area Disability Candidate Questionnaire

Los Angeles, April 11 – Candidate for the L.A. City Council and municipal law attorney Traci Park 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. 

One-in-five Americans has a disability, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. People with disabilities are America’s largest minority group. It is also the only one that, due to accident, aging or illness, anyone can join at any time. Indeed, there are approximately one million people living in the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area with some form of disability. 

Polls show that the majority of voters have either a disability or a loved one with a disability. Voters with disabilities and their families are up for grabs – and the actions campaigns take to reach out to these voters can make the difference between winning and losing.  

Park is running in the primary to represent the 11th District in the L.A. City Council.

Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson Becomes First Black Woman to Serve on the U.S. Supreme Court

Washington, D.C., April 7 – This afternoon, the United States Senate elevated Ketanji Brown Jackson to be the 104th Associate Justice to serve on the Supreme Court of the United State with a 53-47 vote. Republican Senators Collins, Murkowski, and Romney crossed the aisle to confirm Justice Jackson with the entire Democratic caucus voting to confirm. Justice Jackson makes history as the first Black woman and the first former public defender to serve on the Court.

Before being appointed by President Biden to replace the retiring Justice Breyer on February 25, Justice Jackson served as a Biden-appointed Judge on the District of Columbia Court of Appeals since June 17, 2021. In 2013, Justice Jackson was appointed by President Obama to the District Court of the District of Columbia.

During her time on the lower courts, Justice Jackson has ruled that public school districts must do their due diligence to comply with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, providing students adequate services before placing them in private school. Justice Jackson has also ruled incarceration facilities must address the needs of every prisoner with a disability upon entry. As a public defender, Justice Jackson defended clients with mental health, intellectual, and developmental disabilities.

Riemer Completes Candidate Questionnaire on Disability Issues

Rockville, MD, April 7 – Councilmember At-Large and Montgomery County Executive candidate Hans Riemer 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.

One-in-five Americans has a disability, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. People with disabilities are America’s largest minority group. It is also the only one that, due to accident, aging or illness, anyone can join at any time. Indeed, there are approximately 83,000 people with disabilities living with some form of disability in Montgomery County, Maryland.

Polls show that the majority of voters have either a disability or a loved one with a disability. Voters with disabilities and their families are up for grabs – and the actions campaigns take to reach out to these voters can make the difference between winning and losing. 

Daylight Saving Time and the Sunshine Protection Act of 2021

Washington, D.C., April 6 – Last month, the United States Senate passed the Sunshine Protection Act of 2021 with a rare, unanimous vote. The proposed legislation would make daylight saving time permanent effective on November 5, 2023, meaning that Americans would no longer have to change their clocks twice a year.

Proponents of the legislation argue that the time change causes an increase in car accidents and reduces productivity. According to Quartz, “researchers have seen a consistent pattern of car crashes increasing in the days after the switch to daylight saving time, when people lose an hour of sleep, and decreasing in the fall when people gain an hour.” Extra light in the evening, proponents argue, also would benefit the economy as people would be more likely to go out and spend money.

Blumenfield Completes Los Angeles-Area Disability Candidate Questionnaire

Los Angeles, April 5 – 3rd District L.A. City Council member Bob Blumenfield 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. 

One-in-five Americans has a disability, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. People with disabilities are America’s largest minority group. It is also the only one that, due to accident, aging or illness, anyone can join at any time. Indeed, there are approximately one million people living in the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area with some form of disability. 

Polls show that the majority of voters have either a disability or a loved one with a disability. Voters with disabilities and their families are up for grabs – and the actions campaigns take to reach out to these voters can make the difference between winning and losing.  

Blumenfield is running for re-election in the Los Angeles City Council’s 3rd District, representing the West San Fernando Valley.

Carr Completes Disability Candidate Questionnaire in North Carolina Senate Race

Raleigh, NC, April 4 – Democratic Senate candidate, U.S. Air Force veteran, IT consultant, and CPA James Carr Jr. 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.

One-in-five Americans has a disability, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. People with disabilities are America’s largest minority group. It is also the only one that, due to accident, aging or illness, anyone can join at any time. Indeed, there are over 1.4 million people living with some form of disability in North Carolina and their votes could be crucial in deciding who will represent them in the United States Senate

Carr is the first candidate in the upcoming North Carolina Senate race to respond to RespectAbility’s candidate questionnaire. 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. 

Greiwe Completes Los Angeles-Area Disability Candidate Questionnaire

Los Angeles, March 31 – L.A. mayoral candidate, lawyer, entrepreneur, and former studio publicist Craig Greiwe 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. 

One-in-five Americans has a disability, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. People with disabilities are America’s largest minority group. It is also the only one that, due to accident, aging or illness, anyone can join at any time. Indeed, there are approximately one million people living in the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area with some form of disability. 

Polls show that the majority of voters have either a disability or a loved one with a disability. Voters with disabilities and their families are up for grabs – and the actions campaigns take to reach out to these voters can make the difference between winning and losing.  

Greiwe is currently facing off against eleven other candidates in the race to replace Eric Garcetti as Mayor of Los Angeles.

Khalil Completes Disability Candidate Questionnaire in Pennsylvania Senate Race

Harrisburg, PA, March 28 – Democratic Senate candidate, advocate, organizer, educator and former small business owner Alex Khalil 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.

One-in-five Americans has a disability, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. People with disabilities are America’s largest minority group. It is also the only one that, due to accident, aging or illness, anyone can join at any time. Indeed, there are over 1.8 million people living with some form of disability in Pennsylvania and their votes could be crucial in deciding who will represent them in the United States Senate. 

Khalil is the first candidate in the upcoming Pennsylvania Senate race to respond to RespectAbility’s candidate questionnaire. 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. 

Avalos Completes Los Angeles-Area Disability Candidate Questionnaire

Los Angeles, March 25 – Candidate for the L.A. City Council and community advocate Elisa Avalos 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. 

One-in-five Americans has a disability, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. People with disabilities are America’s largest minority group. It is also the only one that, due to accident, aging or illness, anyone can join at any time. Indeed, there are approximately one million people living in the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area with some form of disability. 

Polls show that the majority of voters have either a disability or a loved one with a disability. Voters with disabilities and their families are up for grabs – and the actions campaigns take to reach out to these voters can make the difference between winning and losing.  

Avalos is facing off against incumbent Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez  to represent the northeastern San Fernando Valley and the City Council’s 7th District.

O’Gabhann Completes Los Angeles-Area Disability Candidate Questionnaire

Los Angeles, March 25 – Candidate for L.A. City Controller and schoolteacher J. Carolan O’Gabhann 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. 

One-in-five Americans has a disability, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. People with disabilities are America’s largest minority group. It is also the only one that, due to accident, aging or illness, anyone can join at any time. Indeed, there are approximately one million people living in the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area with some form of disability. 

Polls show that the majority of voters have either a disability or a loved one with a disability. Voters with disabilities and their families are up for grabs – and the actions campaigns take to reach out to these voters can make the difference between winning and losing.  

Sen. Maggie Hassan Completes Disability Candidate Questionnaire in New Hampshire Re-Election Race

Concord, NH, March 22 – Incumbent Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire 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.

One-in-five Americans has a disability, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. People with disabilities are America’s largest minority group. It is also the only one that, due to accident, aging or illness, anyone can join at any time. Indeed, there are over 183,000 people living with some form of disability in New Hampshire and their votes could be crucial in deciding whether Sen. Hassan will have another term in the United States Senate. 

Sen. Hassan is the first candidate in the upcoming New Hampshire Senate race to respond to RespectAbility’s candidate questionnaire. 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. 

2022 Disability Questionnaire for Los Angeles Municipal Elections

RespectAbility, a national nonpartisan nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of the community, is preparing a nonpartisan voter guide for the 2022 Los Angeles Municipal Elections. The guide will cover a variety of issues that impact the 1-in-5 Americans…

Gov. Kathy Hochul Reinstates New York’s Office of the Advocate for People with Disabilities

Albany, NY, March 21 – New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed AB 3130 into law, reinstating the Office of the Advocate for People with Disabilities. This represents a new opportunity for the Empire State to do right by its residents with disabilities. The office was originally established decades ago under the administration of Gov. Mario Cuomo, but it was subsequently dissolved by former Gov. Andrew Cuomo. 

Under AB 3130, the Advocate for People with Disabilities shall coordinate the state’s implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, act as New York’s primary ADA compliance officer for all public activities, and make sure disabled people’s needs are met in public settings.

The Advocate for People with Disabilities will also serve as the state’s advocate for the disability community, working with lawmakers to pass legislation that will make government services more inclusive. The Advocate will also work in conjunction with an Integrated Setting Coordinating Council. More details are available here