At The Intersection of Disability and Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault

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By: Sharon Langer

We have renamed my column THE INTERSECTION. The column will still explore the issues of domestic violence and sexual assault but will focus on the extraordinary impact those issues have on persons with disabilities.

Since the theme this month is presidential candidates and where they stand on the issue of Disability Rights, I researched the platforms of all the still standing candidates. Only two have any position at all on their official websites that address disability rights and no candidate has any official information or position on domestic violence or sexual assault except Hillary Clinton who has a position against sexual assault on college campuses. Their positions are below:

As President, Bernie Sanders will:

  1. 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.

2.Increase employment and educational opportunities for persons with disabilities.

In the year 2016, it is unacceptable that over 80 percent of adults with disabilities are unemployed. We need to 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.

3.Fight for the U.S. ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Bernie will continue to fight for equal access and equal rights for people with disabilities. That’s why Bernie strongly supports the ratification of this important treaty.

As President Hillary Clinton will:

  • Realize the promise of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • Improve access to meaningful and gainful employment for people with disabilities.
  • Provide tax relief to help the millions of families caring for aging relatives or family members with chronic illnesses or disabilities.
  • Education programs that cover issues like consent and bystander intervention, not only in college, but also in secondary school.

I take no stand on any of the candidates nor the party they represent in this article but I am merely reporting what their websites state. I do believe that the daily struggle that a significant portion of persons with disabilities face around issues of violence needs to be included in the dialogue and we at DIG will be working hard to make that happen.  ANY IDEAS ON HOW WE GET HEARD?  If yes email me:  sharon@justdigit.org

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