DNC Statement on Disability History and Employment Month
October 3, 2016
WASHINGTON – DNC Interim Chair Donna Brazile, DNC Disability Council Chair Tony Coelho and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) issued the following joint statement:
“The Democratic Party is proud to celebrate Disability History and Employment Month, and the profound contributions that millions of Americans with disabilities have made to our nation throughout our history.
“From the courageous activism of pioneers like Ed Roberts, the ‘father of independent living,’ and Judy Heumann who led the San Francisco Section 504 protests in the 1970’s, to President Obama’s signing of the Affordable Care Act, which protects against discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, Americans with disabilities have long fought alongside advocates and allies for the promise of full equality.
“This year, we celebrated the 26th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the most comprehensive civil rights law prohibiting discrimination against people with disabilities. Since then, we have moved forward in expanding access to education, employment, public transportation, and housing. New initiatives under the Obama Administration have increased employment for people with disabilities more than under any previous administration.
“But we still have much more work to do. Over 80% of Americans with disabilities are unemployed or under-employed today. Disabled youth often have little or no access to internships or jobs. And students with disabilities often need longer to graduate because of a lack of accommodations in schools or on college campuses, leading to a later start in the job market.”
“In order to build on the progress of the past, we need to elect new leaders dedicated to the cause of disability rights for our shared future, not a bully who mocks disabled people. Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party are committed to increasing access to healthcare, building a school-to-jobs pipeline that better serves people with disabilities, fighting for civil rights by restoring the Voting Rights Act and access to the ballot, and ensuring global accessibility by ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. We must elect Hillary Clinton as our next president, and Democrats up and down the ballot across the country.”