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Tag: 2020 Campaign

DNC Chair Perez Calls for More Inclusion of People with Disabilities

Des Moines, Iowa, Jan. 20 – The majority of Americans either have a disability or a loved one with a disability. Yet, disability is very rarely addressed on the debate stage. 

Democratic National Committee Chair Chairman Tom Perez spoke to RespectAbility prior to last week’s debate about the importance of including people with disabilities. He touted his work on ensuring that people with disabilities can live in the community and that employers provide accommodations for employees with disabilities. 

“We got to stop focusing on the first three letters of the word disability and focus more on the last seven letters of the word disability and you will see that in our platform,” Perez added. “You will see that in everything we do. You will see that in Milwaukee, the most accessible convention ever.”

Yang: “Need to do Much More to Help People with Disabilities Access Opportunities and Jobs”

Ames, Iowa, Jan. 19 – Businessman Andrew Yang talked about employment opportunities for people with disabilities at a town hall earlier this week. While saying “much more” needs to done to ensure people with disabilities have access to opportunities and jobs, he also repeated a talking point that people with disabilities – and all people – have value regardless if they are working. 

“Do we need to put much more in the way of resources to help people actually see the abilities of people who have different capacities and then have them enjoy that kind of independence and work? 100% yes,” Yang, who has a child on the autism spectrum, said at a town hall in Ames, Iowa. “But does that need to be the standard that people are at in order to live a good fulfilling happy life? No. It’s like — we should be investing in everyone’s happiness and fulfillment regardless of whether or not they can slot into a corporate role.”

Klobuchar Talks Education and Housing for People with Disabilities

Perry, Iowa, Jan. 18 – Sen. Amy Klobuchar said voters with disabilities contribute to elections “in a big way.”

Answering questions at a town hall in Perry, Iowa earlier this week, Klobuchar talked about the importance of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which covers educational funding for children with disabilities from birth through high school graduation or age 21, whichever comes first. IDEA has yet to be fully funded by the federal government since it was first passed in 1975. “My mom was a teacher, so I get this,” she added. 

Buttigieg Calls for Equal Voting Access – And Funding – for Voters with Disabilities

Des Moines, Iowa, Jan. 17 – Mayor Pete Buttigieg called for equal voting access for people with disabilities at a town hall in Des Moines earlier this week. He also said it is important to ensure funding for the equal access. 

“Part of our plan on disabilities is to make sure that we’re supporting ways for people with disabilities to have equal access to the vote, because you know, that’s 1 in 4 Americans,” the presidential hopeful said in response to a question about voters with disabilities – asked by a voter on the autism spectrum. “And those who don’t face disabilities might in the future, so we all have a stake in doing something about it… And we need to put funding behind it.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s Plan for People with Disabilities: “Economic Security, Equal Opportunity, and Inclusion”

Massachusetts Senator and presidential candidate completes RespectAbility Candidate Questionnaire

Washington, D.C., Jan. 7 – Posted last week on her website, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s campaign has released a comprehensive statement on disability policy covering critical issues such as employment, health care, education, technology and the social safety net. Subsequently, the campaign completed the 2020 Disability Voter Questionnaire by the disability advocacy group RespectAbility.

Her responses to questionnaire reflect technical expertise drawn directly from diverse leaders in the disability community. 

“People with disabilities are still fighting for economic security, equal opportunity, and inclusion – and they are not fighting alone,” Warren said. “As president, I will work in partnership with the disability community to combat ableism.” 

Further, she aligns her campaign commitments to the “the four goals of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act): equal opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency.” Establishing a new “National Office of Disability Coordination to ensure that federal programs work together to support people with disabilities” is one way she intends to keep her promises if elected. 

Yang Releases Major Disability Ideas, Pledges to Tackle Barriers and Stigmas

First Candidate to Complete RespectAbility Candidate Questionnaire

Washington, D.C., Jan. 6 – For the first time this campaign season, businessman Andrew Yang has provided more detailed information regarding a variety of disability-related policies – from education and employment to immigration and community integration. Responding to a questionnaire by the disability advocacy group RespectAbility, businessman Andrew Yang outlined his views. 

In responses to 15 questions submitted by the organization concerning people with disabilities, Yang noted the stigmas that exist that “incorrectly label them as liabilities.” He pledged to “incentivize businesses to hire people with disabilities by offering tax benefits to those that provide adequate job training for people with disabilities.”

Regarding immigration, he called for a reversal of the public charge rule that impacts immigrants with disabilities. “In addition to making sure the U.S. does not discriminate against immigrants with disabilities at the border, we must also ensure that immigrants are sufficiently cared for throughout the immigration process,” Yang added.

RespectAbility Releases 2020 Disability Voter Candidate Questionnaire

RespectAbility, a nonpartisan national nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community, has sent its nonpartisan voter questionnaire to of all the viable presidential candidates on a variety of disability issues. The outreach is being done in conjunction with…

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. 

Examining Presidential Hopeful Michael Bloomberg’s Campaign Accessibility

Washington, D.C., Dec. 19 – Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has officially announced that he is running for president in the democratic primary. But how is his campaign doing on including people with disabilities?

Michael Bloomberg

For a presidential campaign to be fully inclusive of people with disabilities, it needs to meet the following requirements, at a minimum: (1) offer captioning with every video it shares or produces, (2) mention people with disabilities and their issues, (3) depict people with visible disabilities in its media, (4) reach out to and fully include the disability community, and (5) provide accessible campaign events, social media, documents and website. Bloomberg’s campaign has room for improvement, but there are some positive signs that the campaign is trying to be inclusive.

“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.” 

Mayor Buttigieg Prioritizes Mental Health and Suicide Prevention at Disability Forum

Noting High Intersection Between Disability and LGBTQ+ Communities, Buttigieg Addresses Bullying Epidemic

Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Nov. 26 – The 2020 Democratic Presidential Primary is heating up, and in recent polls, Mayor Pete Buttigieg has been surging in Iowa. Earlier this month, he released a comprehensive plan for the disability community and rolled it out at a Democratic Party Candidate Forum, Accessibility for All, on disability issues in Cedar Rapids. This forum was the first time in the 2020 campaign cycle that disability issues were the main topic of discussion.

As a veteran, he placed a particular emphasis on mental health and suicide prevention, saying that “the place we need to get to as a country is where it is as routine to talk about and act on mental health issues as we would a physical challenge.” Mental health is the most common disability that people in America have, so Mayor Buttigieg’s emphasis on it was notable.

Seven Democratic Campaigns Prioritize Disability Issues in Accessibility for All Forum

Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Nov. 24 – Earlier this month, seven presidential campaigns made history together as they participated in a Democratic Party forum, Accessibility for All, focused on issues affecting people with disabilities. This is the first time this campaign season that a forum was held specifically on this topic.…

8 Democratic Campaigns Participate in Forum Focused on People with Disabilities and Health Care

Washington, D.C., Nov. 1 – Tomorrow in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, eight campaigns are set to participate in a history-making Accessibility, Inclusion, and Outreach Conference focused specifically on issues that affect people with disabilities. This is important, as while recent polling suggests that voters with disabilities themselves are more enthusiastic about participating in the 2020 elections than the nation at large, none of the campaigns are yet fully accessible to the disability community.

“It is vital for the democratic process to be open to all people and all means all – including people with disabilities,” said Lauren Appelbaum, vice president, communications of RespectAbility. “The majority of voters have a friend or family member with a disability or have a disability themselves. It is truly exciting that eight campaigns will be focusing their attention on addressing the 1-in-5 people living in America with a disability.”

Seven of the Democratic candidates will participate themselves. They are:

  • Sen. Cory Booker 
  • Mayor Pete Buttigieg
  • Rep. John Delaney
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar
  • Rep. Beto O’Rourke
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders
  • Mr. Andrew Yang 

Additionally, former Sen. Chris Dodd will speak on behalf of Vice President Joe Biden.

According to “Accessibility For All Now,” the organizers of the Forum, candidates will answer questions posed by people with disabilities and members of the Linn County Medical Society, which is co-hosting the forum. 

Sen. Booker Calls Disability Rights “An Important Issue”

Washington, D.C., Oct. 24 – At a presidential campaign fundraiser on Capitol Hill last night, Sen. Cory Booker said disability rights is “an important issue.” Speaking to members of The RespectAbility Report, he stated he has and is going to have a lot of policies relating to disability rights coming out.

“We have more to do to ensure equality for Americans with disabilities who still face high poverty rates & barriers to health care & quality of life,” Cory Booker tweeted in commemoration of the 29th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) this summer. “As president, I’ll fight for equal rights & inclusion for people with disabilities.”

Klobuchar’s Plan for Veterans Includes Focus on Mental Health and Other Disabilities

Washington, D.C., Oct. 8 – Presidential hopeful Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s new plan for veterans pays specific attention to veterans with disabilities, highlighting “inadequate mental health and addiction services.” According to the U.S. Census, 3.8 million veterans have a service-connected disability, which is a result of a disease or injury incurred…

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…

Harris Calls for Empowering “Ignored” Communities, Stresses Environmental Justice, During CNN Climate Town Hall

New York City, Sept. 5 – Sen. Kamala Harris called for environmental justice to empower “ignored” communities during the climate town hall on CNN. Carson Tueller, a man with a spinal cord injury who has thermodysregulation, leaving his body unable to control its own temperature and unable to sweat, asked…

Kamala Harris Aims to Expand Economic Opportunity for Americans with Disabilities

Washington, D.C., August 29 – Presidential hopeful Sen. Kamala Harris is calling for expanded “economic opportunity and security for people with disabilities” in a plan unveiled today. She points out that just one-third of people with disabilities who are working-age are employed, compared to three-quarters of those without disabilities in the same age range.

Sen. Harris’ plan focuses on ways to “eliminate barriers that make it harder for people with disabilities to fully participate in our workforce.” One-in-four adults in the United States today have a disability and just 37 percent of those who are ages 18-64 are employed. This means that out of more than 20 million working-age people with disabilities, just 7.5 million have jobs. 

Her plan includes six parts:

On ADA Anniversary, Cory Booker Pledges to Ensure Equality for People with Disabilities

Washington, D.C., July 30 – “We have more to do to ensure equality for Americans with disabilities who still face high poverty rates & barriers to health care & quality of life,” Cory Booker tweeted in commemoration of the 29th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) on Friday. “As president, I’ll fight…

Andrew Yang Personally Thankful for 29th Anniversary of the ADA

Washington, D.C., July 30 – “For 29 years Americans with disabilities have had a greater sense of dignity and respect,” Andrew Yang tweeted in commemoration of the 29th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) on Friday. “More work to be done but my family is thankful for the ADA.” Yang is the…