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Sunday, January 10, 2016

Still More Reactions to Clinton's Autism Plan

In The Politics of Autism, I discuss the issue's role in presidential campaigns.  As I explain in the book, Hillary Clinton has a long history with the issue, and has issued an autism policy statement for the 2016 campaign. Previous posts noted some reactions to the plan, and here is an update.

David M. Perry writes at CNN:
Last week, Lauren Appelbaum, RespectAbility's communications director, wrote, "What is most remarkable is that Clinton is just one of numerous presidential candidates to be discussing disability issues. In comparison, during the 2012 cycle, the word "disability" was very rarely even uttered. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has been talking about autism since his announcement video. Ohio Gov. John Kasich often gets emotional when talking about the subject."
She's right about the emotion, but I want see more documents like Clinton's plan.
Heartwarming stories and general statements of support for the rights of disabled people to have jobs, for example, are nice. Policy is what changes the realities. Obama had a disability policy advisory committee in 2008. No candidate, to my knowledge, including Clinton, has a similar group in 2016.
There are around 57 million Americans with disabilities. There are tens of millions of people like me, who are not disabled but are directly connected to disability in some way. My 9-year-old son has Down syndrome. Research shows that disability issues strongly inform our voting decisions. Clinton has now made a major play for our votes.
Whether you like the details of Clinton's plan or not, she has now set a new floor for what a presidential candidate can be expected to do. The others need to step up. If, that is, they want to win.
Autistic Self-Advocacy Network:
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network applauds Secretary Clinton for issuing the 2016 Presidential Campaign’s first robust, comprehensive autism policy statement, including clear references to expanding services to autistic adults, investing new funds in rights protection and endorsing specific policy proposals on ending restraint and seclusion in public schools and expanding integrated employment opportunities for people with disabilities. We call upon other Presidential campaigns to follow suit to match or exceed Secretary Clinton’s commitments to the autistic community.
Susan Allen posts:


See roster here.