In contrast to the 2012 presidential election cycle, this year's presidential candidates from both parties are focusing on issues that impact individuals with disabilities. The word “disability” was rarely heard in 2012; however, many of the current presidential candidates have responded to questions about issues people with disabilities face.
A key area of focus for voters with disabilities and candidates is employment opportunities. Stan Greenberg, PhD, a prominent polling advisor, said, “Issues of employment among people with disabilities can affect outcomes in competitive races. This community is far bigger than many people realize, including people in my profession.”
According to The RespectAbility Report, America has 56 million people with disabilities, comprising the largest minority group in America. More than 50 percent of Americans report having a family member or close friend with a disability. Individuals with disabilities, their families, and people who provide support to them comprise a large number of voters who can majorly impact the upcoming elections.
INARF encourages members to educate the individuals you serve about the importance of voting and the voting process. Members can assist the individuals you serve register to vote, confirm/update their voter registrations, find their polling places, and find other information related to voting here. The 2016 Voter Information Guide, a quick reference guide for information related to voting, is available here.
In the coming months, INARF and The Arc of Indiana will share additional information about encouraging individuals with disabilities and the people who provide services to them to vote.