Why Disability Rights Should be at the Forefront of the Election

job creation. tax breaks. immigration reform. national security. healthcare. veterans affairs. criminal justice reform.

The list of buzz words in this election goes on and on and yet somehow, Americans are missing one key phrase: disability rights.

57 million Americans are living with a disability, nearly 20 percent of our population. 52 percent of Americans have a loved one with a disability. 30 percent of people with a disability live below the poverty line. A third of prison inmates in this country have a disability, and 83 percent of women with disabilities are sexually assaulted in their lifetime. And yet, movements like #CriptheVote and The Mighty can’t get enough meaningful national airtime.

Hillary Rodham Clinton has made the best effort out of the 2016 Presidential candidates to include disability rights among her platform: the DNC featured a disability rights advocate Anastasia Somoza, she’s responded to the #PwDsVote Campaign Questionnaire and the American Association of People with Disabilities Presidential Campaign Questionnaire, and has a section of her campaign website dedicated to disability rights.

These are all things her opponents have not done. But it still isn’t enough.

Americans with disabilities are tired of being ignored because their presence and voice makes the majority uncomfortable. It’s 2016 and it’s time to tell our politicians that people with disabilities matter and should be treated that way.

Our presidential candidates should be talking about issues that matter to the disability community like electing people with disabilities to office, disability awareness and inclusion training for law enforcement, better health care and employment options, education inclusion and accessibility.

So how do we make the 2016 Presidential Candidates listen? We join the fight! If there is one thing JRF knows about disability rights, it’s that you have to push and fight for them. With much of this election cycle shadowed by a looming cloud of hate and discrimination, it’s time to stand up for things that matter. For Joey, that meant inclusion and total accessibility motivated by a desire for people to see him beyond his disability.

So join us tonight by using #CriptheVote #JRF and #debate and help us advocate for our loved ones.


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