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Press Releases

Presidential Debate: Will the candidates address the slaughter of people with disabilities in America?

Washington, Sept. 26 – Tonight’s presidential debate will cover three topics, each to be discussed for two 15-minute segments: “America’s Direction,” “Achieving Prosperity” and “Securing America.” As the New York Times explains, “these topics cover a lot of ground and could refer to anything: the economy, national security, domestic policy or the environment, to name just a few.”

The very flexible nature of these topics will allow debate moderator Lester Holt of NBC News to ask about current events and recent topics of conversation. One such topic is the increasing amount of people of color with disabilities being killed by police.

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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.

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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

Washington, 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.

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RespectAbility Congratulates WIOA Advisory Committee on Submission of Final Report to Congress

Washington, Sept. 16 – Yesterday marked the close of a key part of the implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). On Thursday, Sept. 15, the WIOA Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities (ACICIEID) submitted their final report the Secretary of Labor and to Congress. This Advisory Committee was a two-year effort to examine the most critical employment issues facing people with disability. The Committee worked hard to explore policies and practices that will advance opportunities for people with a wide range of disabilities. The conversations that the Advisory Committee shared were often challenging, but the committee members preserved to complete their mission. You can read the Committee Final Report in full here: ACICIEID Final Report.

RespectAbility was honored to have the opportunity to present our insights via our public testimony on several occasions in 2015 and in 2016.

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BREAKING NEWS: Ford Foundation Stuns with New Announcement

Washington, Sept, 12 – There are no words that can express our joy and appreciation with the Ford Foundation and its groundbreaking president, Darren Walker, for making history today. The Ford Foundation, with this major announcement, is the first major foundation to confront its ableism.

Read the full announcement: Ignorance is the enemy within: On the power of our privilege, and the privilege of our power.

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The Emmys: Seeing African Americans with Disabilities in Hollywood

Washington, Sept. 12 – For the first time in history, a TV show staring people with disabilities has won an Emmy Award – and one of the stars, John, is African American! The glass ceiling-breaking show is Born This Way, A&E Network’s critically-acclaimed and award-winning original docuseries, which airs Tuesday nights at 10/9c. Beating out five other series including previous winners Deadliest Catch and InterventionBorn This Way won the Emmy for Outstanding Unstructured Reality Series at the Creative Arts Emmy Celebration Sunday evening.

The show documents real life as John continues to pursue his dream of becoming a rap artist and entertainer, but has a lot of life skills to master before he is ready to live on his own.

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The Emmys: Seeing Hispanics with Disabilities in Hollywood

Washington, Sept. 12 – For the first time in history, a TV show staring people with disabilities has won an Emmy Award– and one of the stars, Cristina, is Hispanic! The glass ceiling-breaking show is Born This Way, A&E Network’s critically acclaimed and award-winning original docuseries, which airs Tuesday nights at 10/9c. Beating out five other series including previous winners Deadliest Catch and Intervention, Born This Way won the Emmy for Outstanding Unstructured Reality Series at the Creative Arts Emmy Celebration Sunday evening.

The show documents real life as Cristina and her fiancée Angel continue to look forward to their wedding, but have a lot of life skills to master before they are ready to live on their own.

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BREAKING NEWS! Glass Ceiling Broken at Emmy Awards!

First Series Starring Cast with Disabilities, Born This Way, Wins

Washington, Sept. 11 – For the first time ever, a series starring a cast with disabilities has won an Emmy Award. Born This Way, which is in its second season on A&E, won for Outstanding Unstructured Reality Series beating out five other series including previous winners Deadliest Catch and Intervention. In addition, two episodes from Born This Way were nominated for Outstanding Picture Editing for an Unstructured Reality Program but lost out to HBO’s Project Greenlight.

A&E Network’s critically acclaimed and award-winning original docuseries Born This Way’s honors keep adding up – showing that disability is a winning theme.

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New Report Shows Lack of Representation of People with Disabilities in Film

Washington, Sept. 8 – Only 2.4 percent of all speaking or named characters in film were shown to have a disability in 2015, according to a new report by The Media, Diversity, & Social Change (MDSC) Initiative at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, Inequality in 800 Popular Films.

This statistic is not representative of the number of Americans with a disability, which is one-in-five, or 20 percent.

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