Open letter to elected officials, public servants and political consultants

January, 2014

Dear Elected Officials, Public Servants and Political Consultants,

RespectAbilityUSA.org knows that you want to be in touch with voters and meet their needs so that America can be a better place. Thus, we want to help you serve your constituents better. We recently completed a large-sample national poll of 3800 people within the disability community, and the results offer a unique insight into a community of 56 million Americans. We know that this information can help you who understand what matters to millions of Americans with disabilities and their loved ones. 

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New Poll of 3839 People in Disability Community Shows 3 out of 4 people with disabilities surveyed value a job and independence over government benefits

New Poll of 3839 People in Disability Community Shows:

January 10th 2014

  • 3 out of 4 people with disabilities surveyed value a job and independence over government benefits (no partisan split)
  • Disability community sites employer perceptions that they will be “less successful than someone without a disability” as primary barrier to jobs
  • Disability community names top ways to impact work environment as change in employer attitudes, employer training, and change in structure of benefits system
  • Younger PwDs (Post IDEA/ADA Generations) More Interested in Self-advocacy
  • Less than half of PwDs looking for work have access to quality training programs, career counseling, and professional resources (e.g., job coach) needed to help with a job search.
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Disability-Related Hate Crime Double

Even as hate crimes overall diminish, the FBI reports that hate crimes against people with disabilities have doubled; compounded with the recent denial of a life saving organ transplant for a person with disability (the decision has been overturned), it is more important now than ever to improve the opportunities available to PWDs including positive and fair media representation.  Read some recent articles and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for real-time updates.

 

 

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Thoughtful Giving

Friend,

I am writing you about something that won’t cost you a penny – but will help raise awareness for people with disabilities. I am asking you to add a few simple questions to your grant applications and charitable conversations about inclusion of people with disabilities. I am not telling you how to spend your philanthropic dollars. You have every right to give to every cause you deem worthy, but by mentioning any or all of the following sample questions below you have an opportunity to create a ripple effect of consciousnessaising about inclusion and civil rights of people with disabilities in numerous organizations throughout the world. Talk about bang for your buck! Here you get to proactively help the cause of inclusion without it costing you a penny!

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Pope: Church must include sick, disabled

Pope Francis has called for the “real inclusion” in the Christian community of people with sickness and disability through inclusive ministry in parish communities and Catholic associations.

 

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New Resolution in NC! “Disability Employment Awareness Month”

Governor McCrory (NC) intends to improve the employment outlook for those with disabilities.  He signed a resolution proclaiming the observance of October 2013 as “Disability Employment Awareness Month”.

 Official Proclamation

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“JFNA Hypocritical on Disability Issues” By Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi

When the Jewish Federation of North America hosts the GA in Jerusalem this week there will be one session on inclusion of Jews with disabilities. The speakers are terrific and I urge all participants to attend. But this panel discussion will be one in a long line of “too little, too slow” actions by JFNA to embrace inclusion of Jews with disabilities

 

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New poll data of 2607 Jews:

These Jews feel strongly about inclusion of people with disabilities, even more so than Israel, Jewish life, marrying Jewish, or having Jewish kids

1/5 of Jews with disabilities in sample have “been turned away or unable to participate in a Jewish event or activity because of the disability” 

Bethesda, MD. In a new poll of 2607 Jews done for RespectAbilityUSA.org and Jerusalem U, data shows that the Jews polled, including young Jews, felt very strongly about inclusion of Jews with disabilities. Indeed, they feel even more strongly about inclusion of people with disabilities in Jewish life than they feel about being connecting to Israel, marrying Jewish or having Jewish children, although they were strong on these issues as well. The sample is more likely to be of Jews who are somehow engaged in the community than in a random sample. However, because the sample size is so large, the differences between age groups and other key demographics are valid and pronounced.  CLICK HERE FOR THE POWERPOINT OF THE RESULTS.

Fully 89% of the Jews polled strongly agree that, “Jewish events and organizations should be as welcoming and inclusive of people with disabilities as everyone else.”  An additional 9% somewhat agree with the same statement and less than 2% disagree or are unsure.

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How to call a child with a disability

Friend,

Lately, I have been extremely pleased with the attention leaders and the media have been giving to people with disabilities. However, there has been a lapse in the use of correct language. Language and words matter and you too should know and utilize the most inclusive and respectful language available. 

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Wisconsin Summit

WI Governor Scott Walker to be First in Nation to Follow-Through in Summit on Expanding Jobs to People With Disabilities
Deadline to participate in small business summit!

Washington, D.C. Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin will be first Governor in the nation to follow up with a summit discussion on disability employment since the National Governor’s Association (NGA) major report to expand job opportunities for people with disabilities. Governor Scott Walker, Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and Wisconsin state agencies involved in a job creation will join together for a small business summit on Wednesday, September 25, at the Holiday Inn in Steven Point. A key speaker will be the Walgreens Chief Diversity Officer Steve Pemberton. He will speak about how employers can successfully work to include people with disabilities in their workforces. To register for the conference see http://www.wheda.com/root/smallbizsummit.

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