In Rare Move, Clinton Courts Disability Vote
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is making her pitch to people with disabilities, bringing attention to a sizable demographic that’s often overlooked on the campaign trail.
In a speech Wednesday in Orlando, Fla., Clinton promised to be a champion of disability rights.
“We can’t be satisfied, not when over 60 percent of adults with disabilities aren’t in the workforce, not when businesses are allowed to pay employees with disabilities a subminimum wage, not when people with physical and intellectual disabilities are still subjected to stigma and discrimination every single day,” Clinton said.
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“We’ve got to build an inclusive economy that welcomes people with disabilities, values their work, treats them with respect,” she said.
Despite accounting for 1 in 5 Americans, the needs of people with disabilities are rarely the focus of presidential politics. The event this week, however, was built around Clinton’s proposals to help those with disabilities.
At the rally, Clinton said she would promote competitive employment by eliminating subminimum wage and fostering partnerships with businesses and other stakeholders to “ensure those living with a disability can get hired and stay hired.”
She also touted plans to help those with autism in particular succeed at work and said she would prioritize improving accessibility at colleges and universities as well as ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
“Together, we will make our economy and our country more welcoming to people with disabilities because we all win when everyone gets to share in the American dream,” she said.
This isn’t the first time that Clinton has addressed disabilities in her bid for the White House. Several speakers at the Democratic National Convention this summer spoke about disabilities and Clinton previously released an autism plan and talked about her opposition to subminimum wage.
Clinton has repeatedly called out Republican nominee Donald Trump for an incident in which he appeared to mock a reporter because of his disability.
For his part, Trump has rarely addressed disabilities on the campaign trail and the topic is not included in the positions section of his website.
Trump also has not responded to a questionnaire sent to all candidates by the disability advocacy group RespectAbility.