Disability and Politics – SEVEN issues

It’s primary day in New Hampshire and later I’ll be observing a new tablet-based system for disabled voters. In the meantime, I now know who the best candidate is for disabled Americans.

That settles that then. On the other hand, if you aren’t sure what issues disabled voters might care about, or are undecided yourself, read on.

The writer s.e. smith, one of my favorite collaborators and conversationalists, has written an outstanding piece for Bustle about “seven issues” that should matter to disabled voters as they head to the polls.

With all eyes on Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary, the candidates are facing growing demands from all sides to fully articulate their platforms, so that voters can start making some tough decisions. However, one group of voters hasn’t been well-represented in discussions about the upcoming presidential race. In fact, this group is being largely ignored by both the candidates and the media: The disability community, which accounts for nearly 20 percent of Americans. The candidates, and the American public, need to be thinking about what disabled Americans need, because many of their concerns dovetail with those of the larger country as a whole — and disability is the only minority status that can be acquired at the blink of an eye.

Experiences of disability are, of course, incredibly diverse. While there’s a broad umbrella over a community that shares the commonality of living with a variety of impairments (from amputations to congenital disorders), disability is not a monolith. However, there are some key issues that are of vital concern to a significant proportion of the disability voting block, and many disabled voters are keeping their eyes on how candidates address them.15.6 million disabled people voted in the 2012 cycle, and if the disability community mobilizes this year, it could become a considerable force, with many more showing up at the polls. Voting organizers are certainly hoping so, with groups like RespectAbility providing candidate information and encouraging disabled people to register — so here are seven issues relevant to disabled voters that are worth focusing on.

They are: Jobs, Independent Living, Benefits Penalty, Autism Funding, Police Violence, Access to Education, and Mental Health Care

You should read this; better yet, you should share it, as there are people in your social media network with no idea what the issues are, and you’d be hard pressed to find a better primer than this piece.

P.S. Trump has spent millions of dollars in his buildings on accessibility. It’s because if you build a new building, it’s the law. Thank you ADA.

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