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NEWS

A&E Renews Series for Third Season

Text: The Emmy-Award winning series returns: Born This Way with images of the castWashington, Sept. 27 – Following its Emmy win for outstanding unstructured reality show, Born This Way has been renewed by A&E for a third season. This is the first time a series starring a cast with disabilities has won an Emmy Award.

Produced by Bunim/Murray Productions, Born This Way, an unscripted reality show on A&E, follows the lives of seven young adults with Down syndrome along with their family and friends in Southern California. Because its focus is on showing their everyday lives, including employment, efforts for independent housing, loves and more, Born this Way breaks down stigmas surrounding disability.

Show creator and Executive Producer Jonathan Murray, the innovator behind the first-ever reality-show, The Real World, and many other hit shows including Keeping Up with the Kardashians, credits the show’s positive message and groundbreaking vision of diversity on screen with the show’s success.

“In thinking about the show, we wanted to focus on the ability within the disability and I think that is what is exciting to see,” said Murray. “We are also very proud of the fact that our cast is very diverse. Born This Way is not only the first show to win an Emmy that stars people with disabilities – it also has a cast that includes people who are African AmericanHispanic and Asian. This is a breakthrough for those minority communities as well.”

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Join our ninth Twitter chat on September 27 at 9/8c!

Hosted by Lauren Appelbaum and Cara Liebowitz of RespectAbility, this Twitter chat will take a look at ideas explored in Born This Way by the young adults with Down syndrome and their parents. Following this chat, join us in live tweeting each episode of the second season, airing on A&E at 10/9c.

In the season two finale, Megan learns the hard way that taking care of a baby is not anything like she imagined it would be, Rachel finds romance on the road to fitness and Steven finally faces up to his feelings about Megan.

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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 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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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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Join our eighth Twitter chat on September 20 at 9/8c!

Hosted by Lauren Appelbaum and Cara Liebowitz of RespectAbility, this Twitter chat will take a look at ideas explored in Born This Way by the young adults with Down syndrome and their parents. Following this chat, join us in live tweeting each episode of the second season, airing on A&E at 10/9c.

During tonight’s #BTWchat, we take a look at achieving dreams! The first part focuses on Cristina’s dance competition & John’s new rap star successes. The second part focuses on Megan’s love life triangle with Brendan and Steven.

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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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Join our seventh Twitter chat on September 13 at 9/8c!

Hosted by Lauren Appelbaum and Cara Liebowitz of RespectAbility, this Twitter chat will take a look at ideas explored in Born This Way by the young adults with Down syndrome and their parents. Following this chat, join us in live tweeting each episode of the second season, airing on A&E at 10/9c.

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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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