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.
In a video recorded by Keith Lamont Scott’s wife, viewers hear her pleading with police, telling them that Scott does not have a gun but that he has a TBI, a traumatic brain injury, and is not going to harm them. The video was released on Friday.
In a speech on Wednesday about employment for people with disabilities, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton spoke about Scott’s death.
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.
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.
Moreover, the Ford Foundation has a deep and meaningful commitment to address it, and make things better. The repercussions that will be felt from this earth-shattering news for the one billion people on earth who have a disability are unprecedented.
Below you will find an op-ed from two of our board members, Rep. Tony Coelho and Rep. Steve Bartlett, who also co-authored the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Please read the full statement from Darren Walker and the op-ed below. If you would like to interview our Chairman Donn Weinberg, President Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi or the authors of the ADA who wrote the op-ed below about this historic move, please reach out to Jennifer at JenniferM@RespectAbilityUSA.org or to our Communications Director Lauren Appelbaum at LaurenA@RespectAbilityUSA.org.
Washington, Sept. 11 – For the first time ever, a series starring a cast with disabilities has won an Emmy Award. Born This Way, which is in its second season on A&E, won for Outstanding Unstructured Reality Series beating out five other series including previous winners Deadliest Catch and Intervention. In addition, two episodes from Born This Way were nominated for Outstanding Picture Editing for an Unstructured Reality Program but lost out to HBO’s Project Greenlight.
A&E Network’s critically acclaimed and award-winning original docuseries Born This Way’s honors keep adding up – showing that disability is a winning theme.
Produced by Bunim/Murray Productions, Born This Way, an unscripted reality show on A&E, follows a group 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 Jonathan Murray, the innovator behind the first-ever reality-show, The Real World, and many other hit shows including Keeping Up with the Kardashians, said the cast members of Born This Way remind all of us that “every individual has something to contribute.”
“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 American, Hispanic and Asian. This is a breakthrough for those minority communities as well.”