Just in case I’m not at Senator Clinton’s event…

October 21, 2007 at 10:03 AM (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

Here is the first part of a three post pick through of her answers to the AAPD, ADAPT, NCIL, SABE Questionnaire, and opinion and analysis is my own:

Caveat: I am not a single issue voter. It’s possible, particularly in the general, that I’d vote for someone who was positive on issues that matter to me that don’t show a direct correlation to disability, but was less than my favorite on disability issues.

A second caveat: I’ll not be voting for Senator Clinton in the
primary.

Do you support the creation and appointment of a permanent Assistant to the President for Disability Policy at the White House?

Ever since I walked door-to-door for a project for the Children’s Defense Fund where I sought to account for the number of disabled children not attending public school, I have recognized the need to expand opportunities for individuals with disabilities. From that experience in 1973 to now, I have been passionate about working on behalf of individuals with special needs. As President, I vow to remain committed to this issue, and I look forward to working with disability groups. Part of this outreach will include the appointment of liaisons and officials who are committed to enriching the lives of all Americans who live with disabilities. I have not made any commitments about how I would organize the White House at this level, but I can assure you that the needs and interests of persons with disabilities will be well represented in my Administration and, most importantly, integrated into every relevant domestic and international policy discussion.

I interpret that as a no.

How will you make sure qualified people with disabilities will be a part of your political team and, if elected, as part of your administration?
I was proud of the contributions of the numerous professionals with disabilities who made significant contributions to policy development and implementation during the Clinton Administration. I plan to repeat, if not enhance, that record. As President, I pledge that I will appoint the most qualified, dedicated, and public-minded people to serve in government, and I believe those people will be diverse in physical ability, race, ethnicity and other characteristics. I feel there is a compelling need to appoint people who understand the challenges facing Americans with disabilities, as well as appointing those qualified individuals that have a physical disability. Throughout my career I have hired a diverse staff because I believe that is how to obtain the best advice – through a range of perspectives. I am eagerly looking forward to working with a broad segment of the population, regardless of physical ability.

This doesn’t answer the question at all. It sounds as though means she’ll be looking to be diverse yes, but wants to leave herself room to decide that, while advocating for us, there isn’t enough room for our particular diversity in representation.

What steps would you take to reduce employment barriers and improve employment outcomes for Americans with disabilities?
I strongly believe that we have an obligation to help those with disabilities achieve meaningful employment opportunities. As a testament to this commitment, I rigorously fought the Bush Administration’s “WIA-Plus” proposal, which would have undermined the Vocational Rehabilitation program by allowing states to spend the money on a wide range of activities, including those that would not help individuals with disabilities address barriers to employment. As President, I pledge to financially support the Vocational Rehabilitation Program, while also proposing additional legislation that would empower Americans with disabilities. In addition, my husband was proud to sign into law the Work Incentives Improvement Act, which created the Ticket to Work legislation. This bill made it possible for individuals with disabilities to maintain their Medicaid coverage while working full-time. I believe people shouldn’t lose their health insurance if they chose to go back to work, and that we should work aggressively to remove barriers to work for individuals with disabilities.

I applaud the specifics in this answer, showing what she’s supported…and the reminder that the Ticket to Work was part of the [Bill] Clinton Administrations’ legacy.

Have any of my readers benefited from Ticket-To-Work?

I’d be interested to know.

I’m concerned about “we have an obligation” language. While it could be that I’m hypersensitive to it…people are people and not a “duty.” first.

How would you reform the federal income support programs (Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance) so that beneficiaries enjoy a greater standard of living and participate more fully in the labor market?
I firmly believe that programs like and Social Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance provide an invaluable safety net for those individuals that might need governmental assistance. And I am committed to helping beneficiaries of SSI and SSDI not just make ends meet, but also improve their life and meaningfully participate in society. As President, I will examine these programs to see how they should be improved, including by increasing the benefit level, in order to ensure that Americans living with disabilities can enjoy a greater standard of living and participate in the labor market to the degree they are able. For example, I cosponsored the Ending the Medicare Disability Waiting Period Act of 2005, a bill that sought to phase out the waiting period for disabled individuals to become eligible for Medicare benefits.

I like the language in this piece much better, and again, she’s got specifics to back her up.

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, between 1993 and 2004, federal workers with significant disabilities left the federal workforce at rate more than seven times the general reduction in the federal workforce during that period. What actions would you take to ensure that qualified workers with disabilities are given meaningful opportunities to participate in the federal workforce at all levels?
I strongly feel that the federal government should spearhead the effort to provide meaningful employment opportunities to all individuals – especially individuals with disabilities. As President, I will encourage all executive agencies to aggressively recruit and retain qualified individuals with disabilities for federal service. Our country loses out when individuals with disabilities exit the federal workforce at higher rates than other workers. Individuals with disabilities bring a unique and important perspective to all aspects of governance. As President, I will ensure that the federal government carefully tracks data on the hiring and length of employment of individuals with disabilities and that we take corrective action if we continue to fall short of equity between disabled and abled workers. I will also ensure that we rely on best practices to increase the number of individuals with disabilities who are hired, increase their job satisfaction levels, and increase their duration of service so that it is at least on par with all workers.

Now okay, this one irritates me a bit. She commits to tracking the disparity, and says “We lose out on a lot” instead of saying something like…If more people with disabilities joined or remained in the workforce longer, standard of living would improve, access to better assistive technology, and possibly healthcare would improve, obtaining supports would be easier, and living in the community longer would benefit everyone…

(end of part one, more later today and tomorow evening )

Here’s another link

so you can check the entire list

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2 Comments

  1. bridgett said,

    I see you have some snow out your way. Doing ok?

  2. imfunny2 said,

    Yep. ‘Taint nuthin in Metro Denver yet…just up in the mountains…

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