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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Trump and Disability Issues: Sad!

Lauren Appelbaum writes at The RespectAbility Report:
Republican frontrunners often talk about being inclusive. However, they rarely pay attention to the interests of the nation’s largest minority: voters with disabilities.
“The disability community – comprising one-in-five Americans – has the potential to swing the 2016 elections,” RespectAbility President Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi said. “Conservatives need to address our concerns – especially the ability to get a job.”
President Ronald Reagan worked to ensure that all Americans have the opportunity to achieve the American dream. Under his administration, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) took its initial steps. President George H.W. Bush signed it into law. This act enabled millions of Americans with disabilities to have a hand up, not a hand out, as they were able to go into schools, civic institutions, and the workforce to create a better future for themselves and their families.
Trump is terrible on disability issues.

Richard Cohen writes at The Washington Post:
I draw the line at Serge Kovaleski, the reporter with a congenital condition that limits mobility . Trump mocked him. I will never forgive him for that.
This happened in November, and I’m sure you know about it, but it has been left in the dust kicked up by further Trump outrages that include a denial that he ever did what in fact he did. He twisted his body in approximation of Kovaleski’s. Trump not only denied doing it, but he denied knowing about Kovaleski’s condition, despite having been nterviewed by him on several occasions.
He’s crass and dishonest, a bully in a bespoke suit. But he’s also cruel, as evinced by his crack about McCain and, more particularly, his mocking of Kovaleski. After all, McCain’s heroism is beyond question and a personal attribute. His captivity, his tortures, may not be fully behind him, but it is in the past. Not so Kovaleski’s condition. It’s with him every day. 
Larry McShane reports at The New York Daily News:
The National Down Syndrome Society spiked plans to auction off a “Make America Great Again” baseball cap signed by Donald Trump after complaints about the billionaire’s record on disabilities issues.
“I was really floored once I found out it was on there,” said Hallie Levine, mother of a daughter with Down syndrome. “Trump has a terrible record with people with disabilities.”
By Wednesday morning, the offending hat was history — taken off the page of available items.
Natalie Jacewicz reports at Scientific American:
Alter vaccination schedules to avoid autism: Trump says he favors vaccines, but giving children smaller doses over a longer period of time. He has blamed vaccines for causing autism in children.
Sizing up the science: “I remember wanting to throw something at the TV when I heard it,” Hotez says of Trump’s debate statement linking vaccinations and autism.
Hotez, who develops vaccinations and also has a daughter with autism, says studies have found no link between autism and vaccination. “The anti-vaxxers keep moving the goalposts,” he says. After scientific studies debunked accusations against specific vaccinations, Hotez says those against vaccinations started a different fad: arguing to change the vaccination schedule to protect children.
But infants’ immune systems face up to hundreds of new antigens every day, according to Hotez. Adding a few more in the form of a vaccination does not harm infants. He says changing the FDA’s approved vaccination schedule without clinical testing about immune response could decrease vaccines’ efficacy.
To imagine what a future with fewer or less effective vaccines might look like, Hotez suggests voters think of California’s recent outbreak of measles, a true threat to children’s health. “It’s one of the great killers of children in the world,” he says. “One hundred thousand children die every year of measles.”
 In December, Gideon Resnick reported at The Daily Beast:
His properties have been sued a number of times for violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act, including one instance where a man claimed that the buses to his Atlantic City casino were virtually impossible to access in a wheelchair.

James Conlon, the plaintiff in that 2003 case, alleged that he was told on two separate occasions that there were no “buses available for use by persons who use wheelchairs who choose to leave from the Long Beach, New York departure site.”

The case was later settled.

In the most egregious case, the U.S. Department of Justice had to intervene because the Trump Taj Mahal was nearly inaccessible for people with disabilities.

In 2011, the United States Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey conducted a compliance review of Trump’s Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City. They discovered an extensive list of problems.