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December 2010



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First Published Thursday, 4th September, 2008.

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How are the RNC and DNC
Talking about Disability?

JFA is a free service of the American Association
of People with Disabilities

Today’s JFA:  *How are the RNC and DNC Talking about
* *What Do You Think?<http://mail.google.com/mail/?ui=2&view=js&name=js&ver=9DCpeyGCQEg&am=R_E4pcSXcDHJqgyJ#11c2f079d09db131_LETTER.BLOCK6>
* *More on Palin’s Direct Appeal to Families of Children with
* *Coverage of the 2008 Paralympic
* *EEOC Issues Guide for Hiring, Promoting Individuals with
* *National Federation of the Blind Settles $6 Million Lawsuit with Target
over Accessibility of
*  *How are the RNC and DNC Talking about Disability?*  [image: Democrats
and Republicans
Both Democrats and Republicans reference disability in their 2008 platforms
(their affirmative statements of goals and values). However how disability
is cited and where it is cited (under which categories) in each platform
varies between parties. Each party’s disability “mentions,” whether direct
or indirect, are quoted below.

from the
Democratic Platform

Health Care (from the section entitled “Affordable, Quality Health Care
Coverage for All Americans”) – Health insurance plans should accept all
applicants and be prohibited from charging different prices based on
pre-existing conditions.

…Chronic-care and behavioral health management should be assured for all
Americans who require care coordination. This includes assistance for those
recovering from traumatic, life-altering injuries and illnesses as well as
those with mental health and substance use disorders.

…We should… lower drug costs by allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower
prices, permitting importation of safe medicines from other developed
countries, creating a generic pathway for biologic drugs, and increasing use
of generics in public programs.

Social Security (from the section entitled “Retirement and Social
Security”)- [W]e believe that it is indispensable. We will fulfill our
obligation to strengthen Social Security and to make sure that it provides guaranteed
benefits Americans can count on, now and in future 14 generations. We will
not privatize it.

Stem Cell / Medical Research (from the section entitled “Affordable, Quality
Health Care Coverage for All Americans”) – For the millions of Americans and
their families suffering from debilitating physical and emotional effects of
disease, time is a precious commodity, and it is
running out…We need to invest in biomedical research and stem cell
research, so that we are at the leading edge of prevention and treatment.
This includes adequate funding for research into diseases such as heart
disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis,
breast cancer, diabetes, autism and other common and rare diseases, and
disorders. We will increase funding to the National Institutes of Health,
the National Science Foundation, and the National Cancer Institutes.

Long-Term Care (from the section entitled “Affordable, Quality Health Care
Coverage for All Americans”) – Seniors and people with disabilities should
have access to quality affordable long-term care services, and those
services should be readily available at home and in the community. Americans
should not be forced to choose between getting care and living independent
and productive lives.

(from the section entitled “Americans with Disabilities”) – We will restore
dignity for Americans with disabilities by signing the Community Choice Act
into law, which will allow them the choice of living in their communities
rather than being warehoused in nursing homes or other institutions.

(from the section entitled “Seniors”) – We believe that we must pay
caregivers a fair wage and train more nurses and health care workers so as
to improve the availability and quality of long-term care.

Education (from the section entitled “A World Class Education for Every
Child”) – We will also meet our commitment to special education and to
students who are English Language Learners. We support full funding of the
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

(from the section entitled “Americans with Disabilities”) – We will ensure
there is sufficient funding to empower Americans with disabilities to
succeed in school and beyond.

(from the section entitled “A World Class Education for Every Child”) – We
support education delivery that makes it possible for non-traditional
students to receive support and encouragement to obtain a college education,
including Internet, distance education, and night and weekend programs.

Technology (from the section entitled “Creating New Jobs By Rebuilding
American Infrastructure”) – We will ensure every American has access to
highspeed broadband…

(from the section entitled “A Connected America”) – We will implement a
national broadband strategy (especially in rural areas, and our reservations
and territories) that enables every American household, school, library, and
hospital to connect to a world-class communications infrastructure. We will
rededicate our nation to ensuring that all Americans have access to
broadband and the skills to use it effectively.

Housing (from the section entitled “Housing”) – We will work to end housing
discrimination and to ensure equal housing opportunity.

Veterans (from the section entitled “Do Right by Our Veterans and Their
Families”) – We will ensure that every veteran has access to quality health
care for injuries both physical and mental, and we will require that health
professionals screen all service members upon their return from combat. We
will aggressively address Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain
Injury. We will work to ensure that every veteran receives the benefits he
or she has earned and the assistance he or she needs by making the
disability benefits process more fair, efficient, and equitable. We will
dramatically reduce the backlog of disability claims.

U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (from the section
entitled “Americans with Disabilities”) – We will once again reclaim our
role as world leaders in protecting the rights of people with disabilities.
We will lead the United States in ratifying the U.N. Convention on the
Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the first human rights treaty approved
in the United Nations in the 21st century.

(from the section entitled “A More Perfect Union”) – We will sign the U.N.
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities….

Restoration of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)  (from the section
entitled “A More Perfect Union”) – We will… restore the original intent of
the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Hate Crimes (from the section entitled “A More Perfect Union”) – We will
pass the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

Voting (from the section entitled “Voting Rights”) – We will fully fund the
Help America Vote Act and work to fulfill the promise of election reform,
including fighting to end long lines at voting booths and ensuring that all
registration materials, voting materials, polling places, and voting
machines are truly accessible to seniors, Americans with disabilities, and
citizens with limited English proficiency. We will call for a national
standard for voting that includes voterverified paper ballots. We will
ensure that absentee ballots are accessible and accurately counted…[W]e
oppose laws that require identification in order to vote or register to
vote, which create discriminatory barriers to the right to vote and
disenfranchise many eligible voters… Finally, we will enact legislation
that establishes harsh penalties for those who engage in voter intimidation
and creates a process for providing accurate information to misinformed
voters so they can cast their votes in time.

Quotations from individual participants in DNC Platform Meetings:

– Greenwood, SC, 7/19. Stop forcing special needs children to mainstream
without adequate resources.
– Bessemer, AL, 7/24. The federal, state and local government should
become proactive in establishing policies that address the needs of the

View the 2008 Democratic


from the
Republican Platform

Veterans (from the section entitled “Supporting Our Heroes”) – We must make
military medicine the gold standard for advances in prosthetics and the
treatment of trauma and eye injuries.

…We encourage private businesses to expand their outreach to the veterans
community, especially disabled veterans.

…The VA must become more responsive and more efficient by eliminating its
disability backlog and reducing waiting times for treatment.

…The VA’s current disability compensation formulas need to be restructured
and modernized. Those who have borne the burden of war must have access to
training, rehabilitation, and education. Their families and caregivers
deserve our concern and support.

…We pledge special attention to combat stress injuries. There must be
adequate counseling when veterans return home – for them and their families.
…We recognize the need for more mental health professionals who can give
the highest quality treatment to our veterans.

Voting (from the section “Reforming Government to Serve the People” and
subsection “Protecting the Right to Vote in Fair Elections”) – We support
the right of states to require an official government-issued photo
identification for voting…

Taxes (from the section “Expanding Opportunity to Promote Prosperity” and
subsection “Republican Tax Policy: Protecting Hardworking Americans”) –
Republicans support tax credits for health care and medical expenses.

Health Care (from the section entitled “Health Care Reform: Putting Patients
First” and subsection “Patient Control and Portability”) – Individuals with
pre-existing conditions must be protected; we will help these individuals by
building on the experiences of innovative states rather than by creating a
new unmanageable federal entitlement.

(from the subsection “Patient Control and Portability”) – Because the family
is our basic unit of society, we fully support parental rights to consent to
medical treatment for their children including mental health treatment.

(from the subsection “Improving Quality of Care and Lowering Cost”) – A
culture of wellness needs to include the treatment of mental health
conditions. We believe all Americans should have access to affordable,
quality health care, including individuals struggling with
mental illness. For this reason, we believe it is important that mental
health care be treated equally with physical health care.

(from the subsection “Medicare”) – We support the provision of quality and
accessible health care options for our nation’s seniors and disabled
individuals and recognize that in order to meet this goal we must confront
the special challenges posed by the growth of Medicare costs.

(from the section “Reforming Government to Serve the People” and subsection
“Entitlement Reform”) – As discussed in the health care section of this
document, we commit to revive Medicare by rewarding quality care, promoting
competition, eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse, and giving patients and
providers control over treatment options. We envision a new Medicaid
partnership with the states, improving public health through flexibility and

Stem Cells / Medical Research (from the section entitled “Health Care
Reform: Putting Patients First” and subsection “Improving Quality of Care
and Lowering Cost”) – [W]e call for a major expansion of support for the
stem-cell research that now shows amazing promise and offers the greatest
hope for scores of diseases – with adult stem cells, umbilical cord blood,
and cells reprogrammed into pluripotent stem cells – without the destruction
of embryonic human life.

Long-Term Care (from the subsection entitled “Modernize Long-Term Care
Options for All) – The financial burdens and emotional challenges of
ensuring adequate care for elderly family members affect every American,
especially with today’s aging population. We must develop new ways to
support individuals, not just institutions, so that older Americans can have
a real choice whether to stay in their homes. This is true not only with
regard to Medicaid, where we spend $100 billion annually on long-term care,
but also for those who do not qualify for that assistance.

Physician-Assisted Suicide (from the section “Health Care Reform: Putting
Patients First” and subsection “Funding Medical Research”) – We believe
medicines and treatments should be designed to prolong and enhance life, not
destroy it. Therefore, federal funds should not be used for drugs that cause
the destruction of human life.
Furthermore, the Drug Enforcement Administration ban on use of controlled
substances for physician-assisted suicide should be restored.

(from the section “Preserving Our Values” and subsection “Maintaining the
Sanctity and Dignity of Human Life”) – …[W]e oppose the nonconsensual
withholding of care or treatment from people with disabilities, as well as
the elderly and infirm, just as we oppose euthanasia and assisted suicide,
which endanger especially those on the margins of society.

Education (from the section “Education Means a More Competitive America” and
subsection “Maintaining Our Commitment to IDEA”) – Because a federal mandate
on the states must include the promised federal funding, we will fulfill the
promise of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to cover 40
percent of the costs incurred because of that legislation. We urge
preventive efforts in early childhood, especially assistance in gaining
pre-reading skills, to help many youngsters move beyond the need for IDEA’s

(from the subsection “Asserting Family Rights in Schooling”) – It is not the
role of the teacher or school administration to recommend or require the use
of psychotropic medications that must be prescribed by a physician.

(from the subsection “Higher Education) – Our country’s system of higher
education – public and private, secular and religious, large and small
institutions – is unique for its excellence, its diversity, and its
accessibility. Learning is a safeguard of liberty. Post-secondary education
not only increases the earnings of individuals but advances economic
development. Our colleges and universities drive much of the research that
keeps America competitive. We must ensure that our higher education system
meet the needs of the 21st century student and economy and remain innovative
and accessible.

Civil Rights (from the section “Preserving Our Values” and subsection
“Ensuring Equal Treatment for All”) – We consider discrimination based on
sex, race, age, religion, creed, disability, or national origin to be
immoral, and we will strongly enforce anti-discrimination statutes.

Employment (from the section “Preserving Our Values” and subsection
“Maintaining the Sanctity and Dignity of Human Life”) – Respect for life
requires efforts to include persons with disabilities in education,
employment, the justice system, and civic participation.

…Because government should set a positive standard in hiring and
contracting for the services of persons with disabilities, we need to update
the statutory authority for the AbilityOne program, the main avenue by which
those productive members of our society can offer high quality services at
the best possible value.

View the 2008 Republican

*What Do You Think?

What do you think of the DNC and RNC platforms, as they pertain to
disability issues? Do they influence your vote on November 4? Any surprises?

Share your thoughts on the JFActivist

More on Palin’s Direct Appeal to Families of Children with Disabilities
[image: Governor Sarah Palin
referenced in the last JFA, last night, Governor Sarah Palin (R-AK) made a
direct appeal to the families of children with disabilities during her
speech at the Republican National Convention (RNC). The appeal came after
she introduced members of her family to America, mentioning the recent birth
of her son, Trig, who has Down syndrome. The appeal she made, in its
context, follows below:

“Our son Track is 19.

And one week from tomorrow – September 11th – he’ll deploy to Iraq with the
Army infantry in the service of his country.

My nephew Kasey also enlisted, and serves on a carrier in the Persian Gulf.

My family is proud of both of them and of all the fine men and women serving
the country in uniform. Track is the eldest of our five children.

In our family, it’s two boys and three girls in between – my strong and
kind-hearted daughters Bristol, Willow, and Piper.

And in April, my husband Todd and I welcomed our littlest one into the
world, a perfectly beautiful baby boy named Trig. From the inside, no family
ever seems typical.

That’s how it is with us.

Our family has the same ups and downs as any other … the same challenges
and the same joys.

Sometimes even the greatest joys bring challenge.

And children with special needs inspire a special love.

To the families of special-needs children all across this country, I have a
message: For years, you sought to make America a more welcoming place for
your sons and daughters.

I pledge to you that if we are elected, you will have a friend and advocate
in the White House.”

>>Read Gov. Palin’s entire speech.<http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001Wvy2MCJW-71Uhh49yi7_i8PdN4UEV33ZJ5FPsN_ajUeJqqTTKsIb0eOqGT2FIT7ibd3zIPFOz8qbD1GrPg1mUeG36K9-3a1OngbgsQYbWxtiCyjw43mOCSnb4UwoyJeei2CAtjEi-TC9lmMMGE1AgAQYUOrS-HcC5rm3uRhTKQjvr1gxOXM711VYUZbYKG7Nk6TLw_ZvKiU=>

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*Coverage of the 2008 Paralympic Games
* [image: Paralympics
Universal will provide US coverage of the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games via
the UniversalSports.com<http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001Wvy2MCJW-72Jq8_hF-NDKBwfDD3EMwDSoRu6XgpE1oiOgiIXuej7t6hGfRVIqqfBCQ0ZIss2_n5EmLhxEHblmw-EXsiPiKBr1rvtnHWQHl71LOVytICpXw==>website
and present television programming of the Games in early October.
The groundbreaking broadcast will premiere on September 6th on
UniversalSports.com and October 8th on Universal Sports TV, followed by a
special presentation of the events on NBC October 18th.

Visit UniversalSports.com<http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001Wvy2MCJW-72Jq8_hF-NDKBwfDD3EMwDSoRu6XgpE1oiOgiIXuej7t6hGfRVIqqfBCQ0ZIss2_n5EmLhxEHblmw-EXsiPiKBr1rvtnHWQHl71LOVytICpXw==>to
view Paralympic Games competition, athletes and more.

by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and Worldwide
Partner Samsung is a top quality 24/7 television channel broadcasting via
the Internet.  Free of charge, people all over the world are able to watch
live and delayed programming of the Beijing Paralympic Games, or see the
coverage on demand later.

Help demonstrate the high level of interest in NBC’s Paralympic Games
coverage and promote their online and television broadcast to your
participants, families, friends, partners, and supporters.  The greater the
viewership, the more coverage we will see for future Games.  Visit these
sites early and visit them often!

*EEOC Issues Guide for Hiring, Promoting Individuals with Disabilities
* From Government Executive.com (August 27):
EEOC issues guide for hiring, promoting disabled employees
By Brittany R. Ballenstedt

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Tuesday published a guide to
help agencies identify opportunities to hire and promote individuals with

The online guide responds to frequently asked questions about hiring
flexibilities and legal requirements.

“The EEOC is doing everything it can to provide agencies with useful
guidance on how to be the nation’s model employer, providing equal
opportunity to all Americans, including those with disabilities,” said Naomi
Earp, the commission’s chairwoman…

>>Read the rest of the article.<http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001Wvy2MCJW-71dJzKrZcPPHikSVZM4sQJ2uTiFMHmXtP_5MfLnuN5qD7X4o04QqW1vEUEZIduiJ3trS1q72UaIOOOasDyXUjgY2B3Nv9-jTspaRm1MsDgF1LabkCJRgk_fSPjkpuVwgSXH30JJ-7yd-v5wOkAe-CgqVmhmR2RHGgKUQQfwnKTY-g==>

>>View the EEOC guide.<http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001Wvy2MCJW-70tybo3kud31oUgl6E5NJXHkk82x_L3MGDt7tw9gQYCgqM4RAM3eA-M4FzWUxOSOWo_dvTXJP-c7zAJKXa0D8qt7vVUFVg9mPCNprt-JyXEpfte_8qD1EegwyPBF59jdu1slavBUTLTkSk5vh5bH0HfTgslqTN1diA=>
*National Federation of the Blind Settles $6 Million Lawsuit with Target
over Accessibility of Website

The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) and Target settled a class
action lawsuit on August 27, to make accessible the Target.com web site for
blind people using assistive technology. As a result, NFB will certify the
Target Web site through its Nonvisual Accessibility Web Certification
program once there are agreed-upon improvements completed in early 2009 and
will engage in a three-year relationship at $40 thousand a year, during
which NFB will perform accessibility testing of the Target Web site,
including providing  monitoring and training. As part of the settlement,
Target will establish a $6 million fund from which members of the California
settlement class can make claims.  Marc Maurer, President of the National
Federation of the Blind  stated that he hopes other businesses providing
goods and services on the Internet will follow Target’s example.

Read more information<http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001Wvy2MCJW-70J3nB_iwWPlnVYQlIHMnSisDyrMbSGv5TY-YHTxSBmTsYRPN1XME9wmfaOIM070axoHi93ltV9NTklk4BoEW9pR7MqxKHASTz11qt8lNTJEQ==>about
the terms of the settlement.

View a copy of Settlement<http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001Wvy2MCJW-73aqqpumSpJ5zbOWNUzAUxiW4YpLo6NXjfbUPQch7rlyg5H_krTcTdnnQApn5ClXev402j2jfhQzxSnb6VuqW9byLXyR6OAVsJ3aifNVnxFsyEDm-5531CZYZS3HxPpfjQD3p9BxoLy6Q==>

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