Video statement on the intersection of disability issues in Georgia Senate Runoff
Atlanta, Georgia, Dec. 29 – Democratic Senate candidate Jon Ossoff has reached out to the 1.2 million Georgians with disabilities in a video message released over the Christmas weekend.
Local disability organizations such as the Georgia Disability Vote Partnership (GDVP) and national groups such as RespectAbility have been reaching out to Democratic and Republican candidates about issues affecting people with disabilities, including employment, education, criminal justice and accessibility.
However, it has only been in the final few hours of the campaign that candidates are starting to respond. The transcript of Ossoff’s comments can be found below:
What is your position on federal aid to the states to support impacted state budgets?
We need to expedite federal resources to support state and local governments. People with disabilities particularly rely upon that federal support.
What would be your policy response if the US Supreme Court repeals part or all of the ACA?
I will fight to strengthen and protect the Affordable Care Act, to defend coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, to avoid any lifetime caps imposed on any Americans. I believe health care is a human right.
How would you engage the disability community to become more effective and active in the policy decisions that affect our lives?
I will be open and accessible as Georgia’s Senator. I will look forward to meeting routinely with representatives of the disability community. I’ll be at your fingertips, my door will be open, and I look forward to working with you.
On Monday evening, Ossoff addressed disabled voters during the Georgia Disability Vote Partnership’s voting forum featuring all four of Georgia’s Senate runoff candidates.
“We have to make voting accessible for all people and we need to strengthen the Americans with Disabilities Act so that Americans who are differently abled can have access to all public facilities, and are not discriminated against in our society,” he told Sign1News, a global digital news network for deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers.
“One of the basic and important things that candidates for office and elected officials need to do is ensure that when we are communicating, for example, that we are adding closed captions or we are adding signing support so that those who cannot hear us can still understand and what I will do in office is ensure that my Senate office is reaching out to people who have different needs and different abilities, so that everybody can participate in our democracy,” he added, before saying thank you in ASL.
RespectAbility is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that fights stigmas and advances opportunities so people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of their communities. RespectAbility does not rate or endorse candidates. View more coverage of 2020 candidates.