Over the holiday weekend, social media and the airwaves were full of appropriate outrage over Donald Trump’s mocking of the appearance of New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski’s, a person with a disability.
The disparaging treatment of people with disabilities by celebrities and other public figures is sadly not all that uncommon. The list of celebrities that The Arc has called out in recent years is long – comedian Tracy Morgan, football star Joe Flacco, to name a few.
Now we have a candidate for President of the United States to add to that list.
These recent events remind us that we need to hear from all candidates on where they stand on the issues facing people with disabilities as these voters prepare to vote for their next President in less than a year.
Where do all of the candidates stand on:
- Ensuring Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security Disability Insurance, and Supplemental Security Income are there for qualified people with disabilities who need support?
- Expanding opportunity for jobs in the community for people with disabilities?
- Creating more affordable, accessible, inclusive housing in the community for people with disabilities?
- Ensuring that the civil rights of people with disabilities are respected in the classroom, the criminal justice system, our health care system, and so on?
Roughly one in five Americans has a disability – and there are millions of Americans who are related to, friends with, or support a person with a disability in their lives. Their votes are up for grabs. And they are listening for substance from the entire field.
And to the media covering these candidates – start asking the tough questions on how those running to be the next President will improve the lives of people with disabilities. You are in a position to change this conversation. Use your power – just as people with disabilities will use theirs come November 2016.