The Interfaith Disability Advocacy Coalition, a program of AAPD (Association of People with Disabilities), is mobilizing people of faith to sign a letter encouraging candidates to address disability concerns in their campaigns. The letter notes that Americans with disabilities “make remarkable and valuable contributions to our communities,” yet, “continue to face discrimination in many areas including employment, transportation, and education.” The letter encourages candidates for public office to address these disparities and set forth a “vision to encourage the civil rights of people with disabilities, and to promote their full inclusion in society.”
We, the undersigned, are people of faith from across the nation concerned about the civil rights of the more than 56 million Americans living with a disability. Our faith communities are diverse and include people living with all types of disability: physical, sensory, intellectual, visible and non-apparent. We write to urge you to lay out a comprehensive agenda that addresses the civil rights of Americans with disabilities….
Candidates for public office must address these disparities and must set forth a vision to encourage the civil rights of people with disabilities and to promote their full inclusion in society. This is imperative in light of the gifts and talents Americans with disabilities bring to their schools, jobs, and faith communities. If elected, we strongly recommend taking action to:
- Further expand opportunities for people with disabilities to live and work independently in their communities, including expanding access to affordable, accessible, integrated housing and transportation options.
- Increase productivity and innovation in the public and private sector by expanding employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
- Further the progress made in the graduation rate of students with disabilities from high school by addressing remaining barriers to success in public education and transition to employment or post-secondary education.
- Support the continuation of reforms passed into law as part of the Affordable Care Act that help people with disabilities lead healthy lives and increase their access to long term services and supports, as well as support further expansion of mental health and substance use services.