The National Forum on Disability Issues - NFDI2012
I didn't know that NFDI2012 was happening until the organizers approached me over Twitter last week.
From the website: "The National Forum on Disability Issues is an historic nonpartisan event. The 2012 event builds on the success of the first ever forum organized by the disability community in 2008. The forum will focus on the disability positions of the 2012 Presidential candidates. Candidates for the U.S. Senate seat from Ohio will also be invited to participate. The candidates will be given the opportunity to provide their positions on a wide variety of disability issues directly to the disability community."
Personally, I think it's a fabulous idea. Besides the little nod to people with disabilities in Clinton's speech, there's been no talk from either candidate about why the 57 000 000 people with disabilities in America should vote for either of them. I know that I have questions:
- How do the candidates plan to get the people with disabilities that can and want to work, into the workforce?
- How does the education of students with disabilities factor into Obama's plans to strengthen the education system?
- How will Romney make sure that people with disabilities who can't work and can't aare able to afford medical care if he overturns the Affordable Health Care Act?
I'm sure that you've all got great ones that you can add to the list.
Help Get the Candidates to NFDI2012!
Obama and Romney have been invited to NFDI2012, as have Ohio candidates for US Senate Josh Mandel and Sherrod Brown. None have committed yet to attending. Obama sent a representative in 2008, and Republican candidate John McCain participated via satellite.
NFDI2012 has provided letters on their website to send to each candidate telling them that you'd like them to be there, and as well as other social media contact media information for them, at http://www.nfdi.org/invite_candidates/.
I follow @nfdi and frequently retweet their awareness tweets about NFDI2012, which often also go to the candidates as well.
Why Do I Care About This?
Why do I care so much, given that I'm Canadian? Because people with disabilities in Britain are dying right now because of the catastrophic cuts that their current government has made...because I've seen what happens in Ontario when governments drastically cut supports (any Ontario readers remember Mike Harris and his Common Sense Revolution?)...because I fear that more cuts are coming, sooner than we're prepared for...and because I hear rhetoric from America right now that makes me think that if Americans with disabilities (and those who love them, support them, and advocate for them) don't demand some answers from candidates while they have the chance, they're not going to be able to make a truly informed decision on Voting Day.
As much as possible, you need to know what might be coming down the tubes when you vote for either candidate.
We don't have an opportunity like this in Canada when federal elections come around. I don't believe that Britain does either. Be at NFDI2012 - September 28th in Columbus, Ohio (you can "be there" via webcast, too - I'm signed up to do so), and let your candidates know that you want them to be there, too.