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Candidates Respond to Disability Survey

About 56 million Americans live with some type of disability. Voters' guides with candidates' views on the issues that affect them are available online. (adaindiana.org)
About 56 million Americans live with some type of disability. Voters' guides with candidates' views on the issues that affect them are available online. (adaindiana.org)
November 4, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS – A group advocating for rights for people with disabilities has spent the last year contacting all the candidates running for president, governor and U.S. Senate in the general election, asking them to fill out a survey explaining how they would address the issues that 56 million Americans with disabilities face.

Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, president of the group RespectAbility, said of these Americans, more than 35 million are eligible to vote on November 8th, representing close to one-sixth of the total electorate.

"We have a number of questions: from employment for people with disabilities, to the issue of sexual assault, to the issue of health care, transportation, education, foreign policy," she explained. "All around, the issues that impact the one in five Americans who have a disability."

There are nearly a half million Hoosiers with disabilities who are between the ages of 18 and 64. Currently, only 36 percent of working-age Hoosiers with disabilities are employed, compared with 77 percent of those without disabilities.

Laszlo Mizrahi says both the Republican and Democratic candidates who are seeking Indiana's open U.S. Senate seat have declined to take the survey, and the candidates for Indiana governor have not responded to requests to do so. On a national level, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton completed the questionnaire.

"It's particularly frustrating in the case of Mr. Trump, because Hillary Clinton responded so very, very early and very thoroughly to the candidate questionnaire," she said. "And in the primary, saw the same happen with Jeb Bush and John Kasich and other Republicans."

She added there is a voter guide for each state, and they've posted answers by national and state candidates at TheRespectAbilityReport.org

Veronica Carter/Shaine Smith, Public News Service - IN