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Utah News

Expanding the Voter's Guide for Persons with Disabilities

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One in five voters is disabled, and 52% of voters have someone close to them with a disability.

“A lot of people with disabilities frankly are on the receiving end of a lot of pity. Well, we’re tired of pity. We want the hand up, not the hand out. We want the opportunity to achieve the American dream.”

This is Jennifer Mizrahi, president of Respect Ability, an organization battling the stigmas and obstacles preventing individuals with disability from benefiting society. She says it’s important every voter knows where the presidential candidates stand when it comes to disabilities.

“There’s a lot that people with disabilities want to see in a candidate. Number one, they want to see that the candidate has thought about their issues at all. You know, we’re one of every five Americans. That’s a very large group -- 56 million Americans.”

The organization has submitted a 16-point questionnaire to all presidential candidates concerning the rights and opportunities of the population with disability. She says some candidates have already put out position papers on the issue. 

“Of the Republicans running still, you see some terrific position papers from John Kasich. On the Democratic side you see that both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have put out position papers on a wide range of issues of concern for the disability community. However, we have yet to see anything from Donald Trump or from Senator Cruz. So I think number one is, do they even care enough about the one and five Americans who have a disability to even put out disability policies at all?"

As the presidential race continues, the candidates have the opportunity to fill out the questionnaire. The organizations guide will be updated as they do so.

The Respect Ability Voter Guide can be found here.