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People with Disabilities to Benefit from Obama Initiatives

Washington, DC (January 29, 2014) – The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), the largest disability rights organization, released the following statement in response to President Barack Obama’s 2014 State of the Union Address.

Last night, President Obama clearly articulated a vision that includes Americans with disabilities, as evidenced by the emotional inclusion of Army Sgt. 1st Class Cory Remsburg, who received the longest applause in recent State of the Union memory, and the substantive mention of policies that directly impact the propensity for people with disabilities to achieve a middle class lifestyle.

Specifically, AAPD supports the President’s call to maintain the Affordable Care Act, which removes pre-existing condition exclusion and, therefore, opens the door for millions of Americans with disabilities and other chronic conditions to live their lives productively and independently.

AAPD is encouraged by the President’s proposals to speed up economic growth, strengthen the middle class and build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class. The President has asked the Vice President to lead a full review of America’s job-training system to make sure programs meet the needs of all Americans, and AAPD anticipates that people will disabilities will be included in this important initiative.

Almost 25 years have passed since the signing of the watershed Americans with Disabilities Act, yet unemployment rate for people with disabilities remains at an alarming 14.7 percent, which is nearly double the rate of people without disabilities at 7.4 percent. Even more alarming, roughly 8 in 10 Americans with a disability remain outside the workforce.

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