Political Parties Put Focus On Disabilities
As the presidential election draws near this fall, both of the major political parties are affirming their support for people with disabilities.
Platforms approved over the last two weeks at the Democratic and Republican conventions each include specific sections outlining the parties’ commitments to Americans with disabilities.
In laying out its vision, the GOP emphasized support for educating students with disabilities and programs to boost employment among this population.
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“We renew our commitment to the inclusion of Americans with disabilities in all aspects of our national life,” the Republican platform says.
The agenda calls for special education funding to follow students to the schools of their choice. Along similar lines, Republicans want to give states more control over Medicaid offerings for people with disabilities.
“For the aged and disabled under Medicaid, for whom monthly costs can be extremely high, states would have flexibility to improve the quality of care and to avoid the inappropriate institutional placing of patients who prefer to be cared for at home,” according to the platform.
At the same time, however, the party expressed opposition to the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities — an international treaty that’s currently under consideration in the U.S. Senate — citing concerns about American sovereignty.
Democrats offered a similarly broad agenda in regard to people with disabilities, touching on everything from access to health care to employment and preventing discrimination.
“President Obama and the Democratic Party will continue to lead efforts to facilitate the access of Americans with disabilities to the middle class, employment opportunities, and the ability to lead full, productive and satisfying lives,” the party’s agenda states. “We will continue to oppose all efforts to weaken the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act, and we will vigorously enforce laws that prevent discrimination.”
The platform includes a pledge to oppose cuts to Medicaid while supporting home and community-based services. Democrats also committed to ensuring voting access for those with special needs and say that they will “help lift people with disabilities out of poverty.”