Never missing a chance to secure more votes, the Republican Party is clearly seeking the support of people with disabilities by including a raft of pro-disability policies among its top priorities. Theoretically, that should be good for everyone with a disability, such as anyone like me who has multiple sclerosis, but what politicians promise before an election and what they actually do if elected are not always the same.
The gop.com website says: “We (the Republican Party) renew our commitment to the inclusion of Americans with disabilities in all aspects of our national life.
“In keeping with that commitment, we oppose the non-consensual withholding of care or treatment from people with disabilities, including newborns, as well as the elderly and infirm, just as we oppose euthanasia and assisted suicide, which endanger especially those on the margins of society.
“Because government should set a positive standard in hiring and contracting for the services of persons with disabilities, we need to update the statutory authority for the Ability One program, a major avenue by which those productive members of our society can offer high quality services.
“The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) has opened up unprecedented opportunities for many students, and we reaffirm our support for its goal of minimizing the separation of children with disabilities from their peers. We urge preventive efforts in early childhood, especially assistance in gaining pre-reading skills, to help many students move beyond the need for IDEA’s protections.
“We endorse the program of Employment First, developed by major disability rights groups, to replace dependency with jobs in the mainstream of the American workforce.”
Interesting, no mention of support to maintain social security benefits for the disabled.
Here’s the full list of key policies in the Republican platform, as published on gop.com:
Renewing American Values
Preserving and Protecting Traditional Marriage
Creating a Culture of Hope: Raising Families Beyond Poverty
Adoption and Foster Care
Making the Internet Family-Friendly
Advancing Americans with Disabilities
Our Prescription for American Healthcare: Improve Quality and Lower Costs
Ensuring Consumer Choice in Healthcare
Supporting Federal Healthcare Research and Development
Protecting Individual Conscience in Healthcare
Reforming the FDA
Reducing Costs through Tort Reform
Education: A Chance for Every Child
Attaining Academic Excellence for All
Consumer Choice in Education
Improving Our Nation’s Classrooms
Addressing Rising College Costs
Justice for All: Safe Neighborhoods and Prison Reform
On Tuesday November 8, the same day as the USA goes to the polls to elect a new president, voters will also make their selections for a total of 469 seats in the US Congress. Of these, just 34 are in the Senate. All 435 House of Representatives’ seats are up for election.