Disability Issues Questionnaire For Candidates
– Compiled by a volunteer caucus of Citizens with Disabilities
1. How will you ensure that people with disabilities and all other Americans have free and unobstructed voting rights including access to the secret ballot?
Criminal Justice and Violence
2. What steps will you take to reduce the incidence of sexual and domestic abuse as well as other crimes against people with disabilities, and what is your plan to direct resources to support survivors with disabilities? 3. How will you ensure law enforcement personnel are trained to appropriately interact with people with disabilities – including people who may be non-verbal or who use a communication device, who are Deaf or neurologically diverse to ensure proper communication with victims of crimes, and prevent inappropriate actions by law enforcement personnel arising from miscommunication that may lead to injury, incarceration and/or death?
4. How would you ensure that prisoners with disabilities are properly accounted for and provided with necessary and appropriate accommodations (Communicative Devices, CARTS, sign language, protections of abuse from other prisoners, appropriate medications, wheelchair accessible, Mental Wellness, braille, etc.) throughout their involvement with the criminal justice system?
5. How will you ensure that the education system meets the needs of people with disabilities? 6. What can you do to ensure schools hire professional counselors (LCSW, LPC, School Psychologists) to help identify triggers, address anxiety, depression, abuse, etc. in all grades? 7. What programs can be initiated for parents of people with disabilities that will provide education about disabilities, assistance with accessing benefits, services, and accommodations, and connection to peer support and counseling? 8. What steps would you take to address the disproportionate number of students with disabilities impacted by the school-to-prison pipeline? 9. How will you ensure students with disabilities and their families receive appropriate transition planning for post-high school options (career, college)? seclusion, restraint, drugging, and physical, emotional, and/or psychological abuse? 10. Teachers who assault or abuse students receiving special education are never prosecuted and most never lose their teaching licenses or suffer any consequence at all. What will you do to stop inappropriate discipline measures from school personnel such as seclusion, restraint, drugging, and physical, emotional, and/or psychological abuse? Will you commit to requiring that school districts implement a zero-tolerance policy that mandates revoking the teaching license from any educator that assaults or harms a student with disabilities? 11. Would you commit to adopting measures to ensure that students with disabilities are made aware of an included in extra-curricular activities? What data could be kept to safeguard those efforts?
12. How will people with disabilities be thoroughly included in the planning and implementation of emergency preparedness efforts on the state, county, and local levels? 13. Do you plan to audit the current programs that are supposed to assist people with disabilities during emergencies to find how the programs fail? (Not enough resources during large-scale emergencies, flooding, electrical power lines down, trees blocking roadways, personal care attendants & nursing staff flee abandoning people with disabilities, seniors, veterans, etc.)
14. How would you create the infrastructure to address the underemployment rates and wage gaps specifically experienced by people with disabilities? 15. Will you address and eliminate subminimum wage which people with disabilities are currently allowed to receive for performing salaried work? 16. Do you support removing Medicaid limits and removing the extremely low income and assets requirements to allow people with disabilities to return to work? 17. Do you support preferential hiring for people with disabilities in city and county jobs that meet the qualifications?
18. What are you doing to make sure qualified people with disabilities are a part of your political team and, if elected, will be hired as a paid part of your staff? 19. To help ensure people with disabilities are included within and throughout all levels of government, will you continue supporting establishment and or maintenance of agency outreach offices staffed by qualified people with disabilities?
20. What are your top priorities for persons with disabilities? 21. What would you do to broaden public awareness about people with disabilities and our rights and to that end would you support changing the wheelchair-only symbol to one more inclusive of people with other disabilities? 22. Would you commit to ensuring that “disability training” is led by people with disabilities?
Technology and Communications Communication Access
23. What will you do to ensure the accessibility of the internet including government websites and online services? 24. How are you going to change the communicative barriers to 911 and other numbers for those without a phone, are deaf or speech impaired?
25. What would you do to expand access to affordable and accessible transportation for people with disabilities, especially in rural areas? 26. Will you push for and require that all transportation companies including ride shares be accessible to persons with Disabilities?
Infrastructure and Housing
27. Please describe how sidewalks, ramps, elevators, and other public spaces will be improved to provide public accessibility and mobility for people with disabilities. 28. Do you plan to require that property management accept housing vouchers for people with disabilities, seniors, and veterans? 29. How can you promote housing access to people with disabilities on fixed disability income? (These people do not meet the federal poverty level of making three times the rent, especially in areas with public transportation.) For example in large cities the median income maybe around $75,000 but people with disabilities may only get $12,000 or less. 30. How do you plan to increase the amount of safe, integrated, deeply affordable and accessible housing units for people with very low-income levels 0-30% MFI? 31. What are your thoughts about changing the requirements for the development of site plans for multi-storied apartments to be inclusive and accessible to people with disabilities? 32. Half of the population of people experiencing homelessness are people with mental health conditions and/or disabilities. How will you use funding from HUD and other programs to end homelessness and housing insecurity for people with disabilities and mental health conditions?
33. If elected, would you prohibit insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions? 34. Will you push to expand Medicaid and will you support the addition of adult dental care? 35. What can you do to require that all doctors accept both Medicare and Medicaid? 36. Will you advocate for the decriminalization of medicinal marijuana and make it less difficult for patients to fill their prescriptions?
Community Integration and Medicaid
37. Do you support or oppose proposals to block grant Medicaid spending or convert funding to a per capita cap system? 38. What Medicaid services if any, would you seek to eliminate under a block grant or per capita spending system? 39. How will you improve community-based long-term services and supports for people with disabilities? And how will you shorten the wait time to obtain community-based service? 40. Do you support work requirements for Medicaid recipients?
41. Yes No Unsure ? 42. Would you support requiring the provision under standard Medicaid of social workers, as called for in the US Supreme Court Olmstead Decision? 43. Would you support establishing an independent grievance process for patients of Medicaid Managed Care Organizations?
Protection, Advocacy, and Access
44. Do you commit to holding all meetings and future campaign events in accessible locations, and including information about venue accessibility in your promotional communications and press releases? 45. What would you do to ensure that mandated legal services are easily accessible to people with disabilities?
46. Would you support the creation of a Disability Services Coordination Office that employed qualified caseworkers with lived-experience who are available to assist people with disabilities through the red taped, complicated programs, benefits & services both online and in-person to ensure their wellbeing is provided for?