-AAPD Press Release-
Washington, DC. – According to coverage from NPR, CNN, the Washington Post and the New York Times, all based in part on a recently released study from Rutgers University, the number of voters with disabilities is growing faster than those without disabilities. The Rutgers study projects that 1 out of every 6 voters in the fall election will be a person with a disability.
To assure that the sleeping giant – the disability vote – reaches that goal, the disability rights community has been hard at work for the past year on voter engagement activities. The REV UP (#REVUP) Campaign, along with other disability organizations, has mobilized a number of national, state, and local efforts to galvanize the disability vote. In the final days leading up to Election Day, the REV UP Campaign and our partners at the state and local level will be organizing to get out the disability vote!
REV UP stands for Register, Educate, Vote and Use your Power.
REV UP focuses on establishing state voting coalitions. It is a project coordinated by the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD). REV UP currently engages over 26 state affiliates in voter engagement efforts. These include information and services to ensure that polls and voting are architecturally and electronically accessible and that voters actually get there to cast ballots. Other national and state disability organizations are also partnering with REV UP– the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL), the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL), the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN), REV UP Massachusetts, REV UP Texas, and #CripTheVote.
REV UP has been conducting trainings and offers voter registration and engagement tools and resources at www.aapd.com/REVUP. Using the site, a voter with a disability can locate candidate information as well as numbers to call for assistance getting to the polls, or report and remedy accessibility violations or voter suppression at the polls.
As people with disabilities, we want to live independent lives and contribute our talent and energy to the future success of our great nation. The 56 million Americans with disabilities make remarkable and valuable contributions to our communities. Despite these contributions and despite our numbers, Americans with disabilities continue to face discrimination in many arenas including employment, housing, transportation, health care, and education.
To benefit from the skills and abilities of people with disabilities, candidates for public office must address these disparities and set forth a vision to ensure the civil rights of people with disabilities and our full inclusion in society. To date, two candidates running for president – Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump – have responded to the REV UP Presidential Candidate Questionnaire. A comparison of the candidate’s responses can be found here: https://goo.gl/C3cJNE.
The sleeping giant – 35.6 million voters with disabilities – is awake!