The US Presidential Candidates’ Disability Policies: Information for Voters

For the benefit of those people (disabled or nondisabled) voting in the upcoming US election and anyone else who may be interested in the policy stances on disability of the various candidates in that election, I am posting a statement that Gail Landsman sent to DS-HUM on behalf of the American organization Disability Rights and Concerns Committee of United University Professions (UUP). 

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Whether one is currently disabled, raising a child with a disability, providing care to an elderly relative, or just getting older, most Americans are or will one day be affected by disability.  As there are significant differences in the disability positions and policies of the major presidential tickets, voters need to be informed on these issues of far-reaching importance.

Among the most important pieces of potential legislation for people with disabilities and their family members is the Community Choice Act. This Act would end the institutional bias of our current system (which currently filters about 63% of Medicaid payments toward nursing homes) and provide disabled people and their families the opportunity to choose how and where services would be provided; it would offer states assistance to provide services, including attendant care, in the most integrated setting.  Obama and Biden are co-sponsors of the bill.  McCain opposes the bill.  Continue reading

Longmore on Palin and Obama

The esteemed historian of American history and disability history Paul Longmore has an article in Huffington Post entitled “Palin Talks About Special Needs Children, But Obama Has Substantive Plans for All People with Disabilities.”  Here is an excerpt:

Ever since Sarah Palin’s acceptance speech, there has been a great deal of talk about “special needs” children but little about the issues that concern the 54 million Americans with disabilities of all ages. Pollsters and pundits almost completely ignore the tens of millions of voters in the disability rights constituency—adults with disabilities, family members, and many professionals—but they will play a much larger role in this election than most observers recognize. That makes understanding their issues important.

Palin’s promise to be a “friend and advocate” for the families of children with disabilities has some parents understandably excited. In August, University of North Carolina researchers reported “chilling” rates of “hardship” among both middle class and poor families with disabled children as they struggle “to keep food on the table, a roof over their heads, and to pay for needed health and dental care.” Large numbers of adults with disabilities face the same hardships. 

Read the entire article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-k-longmore/palin-talks-about-special_b_131758.html