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#PwDsVote

Unveiling new state voter guides …

Washington, Oct. 27 – While the presidential election has taken up much of the news cycle, attention also is shifting to who will control the Senate. As such, RespectAbility has reached out to candidates running for Senate as well as Governor in the 2016 elections with the #PwDsVote Disability Campaign Questionnaire for Senate and Gubernatorial Candidates for people with disabilities.

RespectAbility, founded in 2013, is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to end stigmas and advance opportunities for people with disabilities. Utilizing candidate responses to both the down ballot and presidential campaign questionnaires, RespectAbility has released 51 state voter guides.

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The Importance of Down Ballot Elections for Disability Rights

Washington, Oct. 21 – While the presidential election has taken up much of the news cycle, attention also is shifting to who will control the Senate. As such, RespectAbility has reached out to candidates running for Senate as well as Governor in the 2016 elections with the #PwDsVote Disability Campaign Questionnaire  for Senate and Gubernatorial Candidates for people with disabilities.

Twenty-six candidates for Senate, as well as 11 candidates for governor, from both sides of the aisle(22 Democrats, 14 Republicans, 1 Green Party) have responded so far, showing that disability rights is a nonpartisan issue. An additional nine candidates responded that they are not completing any questionnaires during this campaign season. The responses also are geographically-diverse, coming from states all around the country, as politicians are paying more and more attention to the disability community.

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Where Do Candidates Stand on Sexual Assault and Rape?

Washington, Oct. 14 – Given the news cycle, talk about sexual assault and rape has increased.

It’s important to note that children with disabilities are three times more likely to be victims of rape or sexual assault than children without disabilities. Victims of assault are more likely to commit crimes. Every nine minutes an adult with a disability is sexually assaulted or raped.

As part of the #PwDsVote Disability Questionnaire,the nonpartisan nonprofit disability organization RespectAbility asked candidates running for Senate or Governor about their plans to address these issues. While many had plans regarding rape and sexual assault, several had specific plans for rape and sexual assault of people with disabilities. Every candidate was given an equal opportunity to address these issues and if they are not listed, it is because they declined to answer.

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Your Help is Needed on Disability Campaign Questionnaire!

With just 39 days until Election Day, we need your help. 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 30 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 Mr. Trump, have yet to fill out a nonpartisan candidate questionnaire on issues vital to America’s 56 million citizens with disabilities!

The down-ballot responses received so far are from candidates on both sides of the aisle – with 18 from Democrats and 12 from Republicans, demonstrating how disability rights is a nonpartisan issue.

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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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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.

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Campaign 2016 and People with Disabilities: Enabling Access and Opportunities for All

A Special Summit for Campaign Consultants, Hill Staff and Disability Leaders Featuring Gov. Jack Markell and Dave Hoppe

America has 56 million people with disabilities. Polls show that the majority of voters either have a disability or a loved one with a disability. Voters with disabilities and their families are up for grabs — and the actions that campaigns take to reach out to these voters can make the difference between winning and losing. Yet far too many campaigns are not reaching this demographic — one-in-five Americans — in a meaningful way.

A summit convened by the nonprofit nonpartisan organization RespectAbility showcased how campaigns, candidates and elected officials can not only reach out to but fully include voters with disabilities. It’s time for candidates to view people with disabilities — the largest minority group in America — as an important voting group like African Americans, soccer moms and the LGBTQ community.

Looking for the resources shared at the conference? View everything on our post: “#PwDsVote Summit Live on C-SPAN 2, Follow Along From Home.”

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#PwDsVote Summit Live on C-SPAN 2, Follow Along From Home

As RespectAbility’s Campaign 2016 and People with Disabilities Summit on Enabling Access and Opportunities for All kicks off, viewers at home can join in on the fun as C-SPAN 2 is airing the entire conference live.

The entire conference on democracy and access for people with disabilities will be airing live from 9:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and then again from 1:15 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET. If you don’t have cable, you will be able to see it via their website at the online C-SPAN 2 live events page.

This is a really important breakthrough as a disability voter/access training has never been shown on national television before and 56 million Americans have disabilities. Check out the full schedule and join us for as much as you are able!

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