Harrisburg, PA, September 28 – In the run up to the 2022 midterm elections, the nonpartisan disability rights nonprofit RespectAbility has released its latest Pennsylvania Disability Voters’ Guide. According to the 2021 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium, there are more than 1,856,929 Pennsylvanians with disabilities, making up 14.5 percent of the total state population.
The nonpartisan disability group RespectAbility has asked Democratic and Republican candidates the same five key questions about issues affecting people with disabilities, including employment, education, and accessibility. RespectAbility has sent multiple emails and placed many phone calls to the campaigns in order to solicit responses to the questionnaire.
John Fetterman (D)
According to researchers at Rutgers University, 17.7 million voters with disabilities cast their ballots in the 2020 election. These voters will be crucial and can make the difference between a winning or a losing campaign.
“Candidates for office ignore the disability community at their peril,” said Ollie Cantos, RespectAbility’s Chairman. “Some of the closest elections in recent years have been won by candidates who reached out to voters with disabilities. Glenn Youngkin did it in Virginia, Steve Daines did it in Montana, and Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock did it in Georgia. And President Biden made outreach to the disability community a core part of his campaign.”
“The disability community is unique,” added Ariel Simms, Editor-in-Chief & Publisher of The RespectAbility Report. “It is the only minority group that anyone can join at any time due to illness, injury, or aging. What that means is that there are people with disabilities in every state, and that the community’s interests intersect with so many issues, including race, gender, poverty, criminal justice, and inequality.”
To address barriers to voting rights and turn out voters, the disability community is getting more energized and organized than ever before. Thanks to the national efforts of AAPD and the REV UP Campaign, disabled people are getting active and registered in increasing numbers. You can easily register to vote through RockTheVote.com. For more information on voter registration deadlines in Pennsylvania, visit Vote.gov.
RespectAbility is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that fights stigmas and advances opportunities so people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community. RespectAbility does not rate or endorse candidates. View more coverage of 2022 candidates.