I know many of you are as disappointed as I am in the results of this election. But in the face of bigotry, derision, and ridicule, people with disabilities made progress:
- Our presidential candidate put our issues on the front burner of her policy agenda and established state disability networks
- Throughout Texas people with disabilities recruited volunteers, organized phone banks, block walks, and voter registration drives at disability events. Volunteers with disabilities tweeted, re-tweeted and shared our message, thus putting a spotlight on the disability community.
- This year’s national convention featured numerous people with a variety of disabilities and leaders in the disability movement.
- The Democratic National Committee established a Disability Council, keeping our issues in the permanent focus of the party. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) principal author and former Congressman, Tony Coelho, will lead the Council.
- Locally, Collin County Democrats With Disabilities (CCDWD) partnered with Bruce Sherbet, Collin County Elections Administrator, to rectify a major problem with curbside voting that directly affects people with disabilities- at many sites there was no designated parking spaces with signage instructing them how the process works.
CCDWD organized a coalition of non profit, non-partisan organizations that included Disability Rights Texas, Texas Civil Rights Project, Prosumers, and REACH of Plano Center for Independent Living. Volunteers from these groups identified irregularities and alerted the Elections Department when the polls first opened so that the problem could be corrected quickly.
2017 will be challenging for us as will 2018. Now is the time to reflect, mourn, and do whatever one needs to do to get past this significant loss and come out organized and energized for 2017.
Stay tuned… there are better days to come.
Kate Garrison, President
Collin County Democrats With Disabilities
MORE SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES ADD THEIR NAMES TO THE BILLS HOWEVER MORE REPUBLICANS ARE NEEDED FOR BOTH VERSIONS.
The Disability Integration Act (DIA) is civil rights legislation, introduced by Senator Schumer to address the fundamental issue that people who need Long Term Services and Supports (LTSS) are forced into institutions and losing their basic civil rights. The legislation (S.2427) builds on the 25 years of advocacy to end the institutional bias and provide seniors and people with disabilities home and community-based services (HCBS) as an alternative to institutionalization. It is the next step in a national advocacy after securing the Community First Choice (CFC) option.
CURRENT DIA SENATE COSPONSORS:
CO – Bennet (D) CT – Blumenthal (D)
MA – Markey (D)
MA – Warren (D)
NY – Schumer (D)(sponsor)
NY – Gilibrand (D) PA – Casey (D)
VT – Leahy (D)
VT – Sanders (D)
CURRENT HOUSE DIA COSPONSORS:
CA – Grisham (D) CA – Liew (D) CA – Lofgren (D) CO – Perlmutter (D) CO – Polis (D) CT – Courtney (D) CT – Himes (D) FL – Grayson (D) IL – Davis (D)
IL – Duckworth (D)
IL – Schakowsky (D)
IL – Visclosky (D)
MA– Neal (D)
MI– Conyers (D)
MI– Lawrence (D)
MN–Peterson (D) MO-Wm. Lacy Clay (D) NY –Gibson (sponsor-R) NY- Lewis (D)
NY– Meng (D)
NY– Serrano (D)
NY– Slaughter (D)
NY– Tonko (D)
TX– O’Rourke (D) TX- Veasey (D) VT -Welch (D) WI – Baldwin (D)
WI – Moore (D) WI– Sensenbrenner (R)
GOOD NEWS…NO MORE HORN HONKING!
Look for this sign when you go to vote. Early voting begins, Monday October 24th at 8:00 am.
October 13, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES FIGHTING TO VOTE
Voting hurdles remain for disabled voters in Collin County
Plano, TX Collin County Democrats With Disabilities (CCDWD) has launched a movement to ensure that curbside voting is more accessible for those with disabilities. During the last election year, they noticed a major problem at many of the voting sites regarding people with disabilities- there was no designated signage to direct them where to go, and many were not sure how the process was to work. Complaints began to appear on social media sites. “There are 59,882 people with disabilities,18 years of age and older, in Collin County directly impacted by this problem, say’s Kate Garrison, President of CCDWD. “But this election year we plan to change things for the better”, she stated.
This year CCDWD has partnered with Bruce Sherbet, Collin County Elections Administrator, Molly Broadway, Disability Rights TX, a non-profit, nonpartisan advocacy group, and other volunteer groups, to rectify the problem so that the process is more appealing and user friendly. By law, people with disabilities have the right to an accessible polling place, a private ballot, special voting devices , voting assistance, interpreters, alternative voting methods (curbside voting, voting by mail, early voting), provisional ballots and voter registration. “We have modified the curbside voting signs we are planning to post at voting locations”, Mr Sherbet said, “In addition, we will update the wording on the Elections Department website to reflect the new procedures.”, he said. The goal is to make sure that all curbside voting stations are clearly marked, and that poll workers are aware of how the process works when the listed phone number on the signage is called.
Collin County Democrats With Disabilities is a North Texas based organization committed to representing the needs and issues of people with disabilities. Our mission is to be a visible, proactive advocate for positive change in Collin and surrounding counties; the Democratic Party; and the communities in which we live, work, shop and attend school.
For more information and/or interviews, please contact Kate Garrison at 307-314 ABLE (2253 or email@example.com.
If you are eligible to vote on Election Day, you are eligible to vote during the early voting period. The lines are shorter and the days and hours are more convenient. Early voting is open to all voters.
Collin County residents may vote at any of the 34 early polling locations. Click here for Early Voting Locations, Calendar, and a tool to find the nearest polling location. http://www.collincountytx.gov/elections/election_information/Pages/early_voting.aspx
Not sure you are registered?
You may select one of three methods to perform a search:
- Your Texas driver’s license number, if you provided it when you applied for voter registration
- Your first and last name.
Collin County Democrats With Disabilities is pleased to announce the endorsement of the following Democratic candidates:
- Adam Bell, U.S. House of Representatives, District 3
- Karen Jacobs, Texas House of Representatives District 33
- Scott Coleman, Texas House of Representatives District 67
- Denise Hamilton, Texas House of Representatives District 89
In February of 2016, Democratic candidates for Texas House District 33, 66, 67, 70, and 89 and U.S. House District 3 were asked to complete the 2016 Candidates’ Questionnaire. The questionnaire was designed for people with disabilities and those who love them to know where candidates stand on the issues.
Candidates for Texas House districts were sent a 14-point questionnaire covering accessibility, education, housing, and Medicaid funded community based services and supports, income & employment, voting rights, transportation and expansion of Medicaid.
Candidates for U.S. House of Representatives, District 3 responded to seven questions covering accessibility, housing, and Medicaid funded community based services and supports, income & employment.
Endorsements were made based on the following criteria:
- Understanding of the challenges facing people with disabilities,
- Demonstrated support for our priorities and plans to address these issues.
- Extent to which inclusion of people with disabilities appear in candidates’ website, publications, and speeches
We believe that when elected, these Democrats will support us in our mission to represent the needs and issues of people with disabilities. It is on this basis that we offer our endorsement and support. (L-R in photo: Top row: Adam Bell, Second row: Karen Jacobs, Scott Coleman. Bottom row: Denise Hamilton
Section 14(C) of the Fair Labor Standards Act allows some employers to seek exemptions from the minimum wage and pay employees with disabilities much less than the minimum…sometimes as little as $1 an hour!
When elected, HRC will end the two-tier wage system that allows segregated employment and sheltered workshops to exploit people with disabilities.
Texas has done many things the wrong way when it comes to voting rights. Here is one thing Texas did right.
TEXAS IS THE FIRST TO PASS A LAW TO PROTECT VOTERS WITH INTELLECTUAL OR DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES RIGHT TO VOTE.
Many people think that guardianship is the best way to help adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities make important decisions. The truth is, guardianship is often not necessary. Learn more about the new guardianship reform laws passed in Texas that will give people with disabilities more independence.