Nearly one-in-five Americans have a disability. Disability may occur at any stage of life, to anyone, and how our government and elected leadership respond to the issues facing people with disabilities and their families – from housing and transportation, to autonomy, to employment and education and access to services – shapes the fabric of our society. Despite the progress that has been made over the past two decades, we unfortunately still live in a world where people with disabilities have fewer work opportunities and where the civil rights of people with disabilities are not always protected and respected. I will fight for the following rights to protect the rights of people with disabilities:
Cosponsor and work with the Progressive and Justice Democrat caucuses to pass TIME act. While that Fair Labor Standards Act created better wages and working conditions for most Americans, it contained a provision that excluded people with disabilities from its protections, especially the minimum wage. Nearly 80 years later, the law still contains that provision, known as Section 14(c). The Transitioning to Integrated and Meaningful Employment Act, or TIME Act, will phase out Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) over a three year period.
Protect and expand the Social Security Disability Insurance Program (SSDI)
SSDI is vitally important to more than 11 million Americans, including more than one million veterans and nearly two million children. The average disability benefit is about $1,200 a month. For many people, that is their entire income.
Increase employment and educational opportunities for persons with disabilities - In the year 2018, it is unacceptable that over 80 percent of adults with disabilities are unemployed. We must fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and vocational education programs. We also need to expand funding for Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs), which aim to provide “one-stop shopping” for information on long-term services and support.
Fight for the U.S. ratification of the convention on the rights of persons with disabilities.