August 8, 2016 Schedule
RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization working to empower people with disabilities to achieve the American dream, is preparing a nonpartisan voter guide of all viable candidates in several Senate and gubernatorial elections on a variety of disability issues. This is being done in conjunction with our online publication, www.TheRespectAbilityReport.org, which is the definitive place for voters who care about the intersection of disability and electoral politics. Fully twenty percent of the U.S. population (56 million people) has a disability. With the addition of family members of people with disabilities, that percentage increases exponentially to include one in every three households in America affected by disability.
We have email lists of people in each state who have disabilities and/or a family member with a disability. We will share unedited responses with these lists as well as with members of the press who cover these issues in each state.
Our voter guide will be electronic and thus it is vital for candidates to put their positions on their website and give us the specific links to the places they want us to share with the disability community. They may choose to answer each question individually for people with disabilities (PwDs), or to mention PwDs within a larger plan (i.e., your jobs, national security and crime plans) for the entire public.
Rabbis Protest Trumps’ AIPAC Speech Over Disrespect for Minorities Including People with Disabilities
Washington, D.C., March 21 – Some Rabbis and other Jewish Americans are protesting Republican front-runner Donald Trump’s lack of inclusion for minorities including people with disabilities ahead of his scheduled speech to the AIPAC Policy Conference this evening.
While many of AIPAC’s delegates who oppose Trump speaking tonight are upset with the businessman’s violent rhetoric on groups like Muslims and Mexicans, the Republican front-runner also has verbally attacked individuals with disabilities, expanding stigmas that have been undermining people with disabilities for ages.
Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, has expressed his concern about Trump’s level of intolerance for several groups including individuals with disabilities.
“We will hold him accountable to all of the groups that he is not just disrespecting but denigrating in his speeches and his policy commitments,” Jacobs said Monday morning. “It is unacceptable in America and it is unacceptable according to our Jewish tradition.”
Super Tuesday Disability Voter Guide Released: Candidates Showcase Huge Differences in #PwDsVote 2016 Questionaire
Washington, Feb. 26 – RespectAbility is releasing its Super Tuesday Disability Vote Guide. The #PwDsVote 2016 Campaign Questionnaire was designed for people with disabilities (PwDs) and those who love them to know where candidates stand on the issues. The questionnaire asked all of the presidential candidates on both sides of the aisle to comment on 16 disability questions. Former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders responded by addressing all of the questions, and have significantly different views on the issues. Dr. Ben Carson and Gov. John Kasich filled out parts of the questionnaire, and also have significantly different views. Despite numerous requests in person and by phone and email, the campaigns of Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio and Republican frontrunner Donald Trump have not yet filled out the questionnaire.
Fully one-out-of-five voters 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.
#PwDsVote Questionnaire Released: Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders Complete Questionnaires
Washington, Jan. 30 – RespectAbility has released its first #PwDsVote 2016 Campaign Questionnaire for people with disabilities (PwDs).
“Fully one-out-of-five voters have a disability, and 52 percent of likely voters have a loved one with a disability. There are 56 million Americans with disabilities, and we have the ability to determine who wins or loses elections,” RespectAbility President Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi said. “In the early voting states there are 357,730 people with a disability in Iowa, 166,258 PwDs in New Hampshire, 680,038 PwDs in South Carolina and 357,035 PwDs in Nevada. Our community will play a major role in the outcome of this election, and it is vital for us to know where the candidates stand on our issues.”
The questionnaire asked all of the presidential candidates on both sides of the aisle to comment on 16 disability questions. Former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders filled out all of the questions and former Gov. Jeb Bush filled out almost all of the questions. While there are three candidates who answered the questions very thoroughly, they have dramatically different ideas about how to deal with the issues. It’s extremely important to read their full answers so that you can understand their important differences. Issues in the detailed questionnaire include employment, stigma, education, safety, transportation, housing, healthcare, foreign affairs and other issues. Several of the candidates did not yet take the time to fill out the questionnaire, but Dr. Ben Carson and Gov. Chris Christie filled out parts of the questionnaire.
Did you know there are 56 million Americans with disabilities?
That 56 percent of likely voters say they, a family member, or a close friend has a disability?
And the disability community spans partisanship?
The disability community has the power to swing elections. For the first time, presidential candidates on both sides of the aisle are talking about our issues.
RespectAbility is asking all presidential candidates on both sides of the aisle to fill out a questionnaire on disability issues.
During this presidential campaign, we have had the pleasure of covering all the candidates and their views on disability issues. Coverage of all the candidates can be found here: www.TheRespectAbilityReport.com. We have large email lists of thousands of people in each of the early primary and caucus states who have disabilities and/or a family member with a disability. As you probably know, 20 percent of the U.S. population has a disability, coupled with all of the family members, that percentage increases exponentially to include one in every three households in America.
We are preparing a questionnaire for all presidential candidates on a variety of disability issues. The #PwDsVote Presidential Campaign Questionnaire will be electronic and thus it is vital for candidates to put their positions on their website and give us the specific links to the places you want us to share with the disability community. Candidates may choose to answer each question individually for people with disabilities (PwDs), or to mention PwDs within a larger plan (i.e., jobs, national security and crime plans) for the entire public.
Washington, Jan. 14 – Ahead of tonight’s Republican debate, the disability community is finally being heard and paid attention to by the presidential candidates on both sides of the aisle.
In a new ad released today, Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush highlights his fight for the rights of people with disabilities. Last week, Secretary Hillary Clinton became the first candidate to announce an Autism plan following a week of talking about related issues including mental health parity and Alzheimer’s research. Three candidates – Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Rick Santorum – have a section on their websites dedicated to disability rights.
In the past few weeks, nearly all of the candidates on both sides of the aisle have answered questions on low employment rates, high crime rates and lack of accessibility issues while campaigning in Iowa. In comparison, during the 2012 cycle, the word “disability” was very rarely even uttered.
African Americans with Disabilities Much Less Likely to Be Diagnosed and Receive Services
Des Moines, Iowa, Jan. 11 – As the Democratic candidates for president address the Black and Brown Forum tonight, the nation’s mayors are calling on the candidates to speak out on urban issues impacting America’s cities.
A major issue in cities across the country is violence. People with disabilities (PwDs) are twice as likely to be victims of crime than people without disabilities. In addition, they are more likely to be victims of police attacks.
“With twice as many Americans with disabilities under physical attack and repeatedly victims of police violence, we have a long way to go in America before people with disabilities can be safe, respected and have the same opportunities as everyone else. Additionally, minorities are far less likely to get the screening and services they need for early interventions that can help them succeed in jobs and in life,” said Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, president of RespectAbility.
I’m Justin Chappell, one of The RespectAbility Report’s newest reporters. I also have Spina bifida, and, as a result, use a wheelchair. But this does not limit me. There are negative stigmas out there that discriminate against people with disabilities. But these stigmas are inaccurate and I live a very full life. Today I own my own place, am married to the love of my life, and now, on behalf of RespectAbility, I am interviewing presidential candidates!
The RespectAbility Report is a new online publication sponsored by the nonprofit disability rights and opportunity group RespectAbility. Our publisher, Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, worked at Campaigns & Elections magazine and had a newspaper column for many years. Our editor, Lauren Appelbaum, has advanced degrees in journalism and worked in NBC News’ political unit with Chuck Todd and Andrea Mitchell.
Personally, I have worked for Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa, a major disability leader who was key to the Americans with Disabilities Act and Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA), as well as in the Independent Living movement. Our team is filled with self-advocates and experts on disability issues and we have a thriving fellowship program where young leaders can get concrete skills in politics, journalism and public policy. Our publication focuses on the intersection between politics and disability issues.