Trump Campaign Response to REV UP Questionnaire

Rectangular REV UP logo - "REV UP!" with the V as a check mark is in the center of the image. The top line of the image reads "Register! Educate! Vote! Use your Power!" The bottom part of the image reads "Make the DISABILITY VOTE count!"

The REV UP Campaign aims to increase the political power of the disability community while also engaging candidates and the media on disability issues. REV UP stands for Register! Educate! Vote! Use your Power!

The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) collaborated to create this presidential questionnaire in order to learn more about how the candidates would address issues important to the disability community. The questionnaire was sent out to all presidential candidates on 20+ state ballots.

Mr. Trump is the second candidate of the 2016 presidential election to complete the REV UP Presidential Candidate Questionnaire.


With only 21 days until Election Day and early voting already taking place in many states WE NEED YOUR HELP getting out the word about these questionnaire responses to educate the disability community, and the rest of the country, on how Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump would address issues that are important to people with disabilities.

People with disabilities and their families account for 62.7 million voters this election, approximately one fourth of the electorate. Please take a few minutes to reach out to your friends, family, and colleagues to share the REV UP Presidential Questionnaire responses from Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.



Mr. Trump’s responses to the REV UP Presidential Candidate Questionnaire:



The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recent publication, “High Risk Series” (2015), clearly points out the vast problems of administration and effectiveness of federal disability programs. These very same problems have been cited in previous reports spanning over twenty years. To address these issues, reform must begin within the Executive Branch. A recent report by the Romano Group, LCC proposed establishing a National Office of Disability Coordination (NODC) in the Executive Office of The President of the United States. This office would be responsible for developing coordinated federal disability policies and advise the President on necessary changes in the organization, management, budgeting, and personnel allocation of the federal agencies involved in all aspects of disability.

Will you commit to creating a National Office of Disability Coordination to be headed by a cabinet level executive?

What are you doing to make sure qualified people with disabilities will be a part of your political team and, if elected, as part of your administration?


My administration is committed to a comprehensive review of all programs related to people with disabilities with the mandate to modernize, streamline and disentangle the current bureaucratic labyrinth with programs strewn across multiple departments, agencies and offices with little or no coordination. We will consider the possible creation of a National Office of Disability Coordination. As for making sure qualified people with disabilities will be part of my administration, I will charge all department and agency heads with making sure that the best qualified people get assigned to the Executive Branch, including people with disabilities.  We are a society based on merit and the American people deserve we recruit the very best people from all talent pools including people with disabilities.  I will make certain the best possible people are advising me.



People with disabilities experience one of the highest rates of unemployment of any minority group. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2015 the unemployment rate for people with disabilities was at 12.1%, which is nearly three times higher than the 4.8% unemployment rate of people without disabilities.[2] The next administration must make employment for people with disabilities a top priority.


Although legislation such as the Rehabilitation Act has served to advance and expand the opportunities of people with disabilities in the workforce, there are still many barriers that must be considered and overcome to increase employment for people with disabilities to comparable levels for people without disabilities.

What will you do to strengthen Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act and ensure the Federal government is a model employer of people with disabilities?

How will you ensure the provisions under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act will be fully enforced by the Department of Labor and that Federal contractors will meet their affirmative action obligations under the law?


This nation has suffered enough with Presidents who think that they can act in an imperial manner and unilaterally write rules or ignore those that affect millions. It is important that the final regulations under Section 501 are enforced. We will then do all we can to make sure that the agenda outlined and agreed upon gets implemented. My administration will work with Congress to set an example of the importance and value of hiring individuals with disabilities. A Trump Administration will follow the law.



Many people with disabilities are underemployed. Despite similar education, people with disabilities who are working earn less on average than workers without disabilities. The median earnings for workers with disabilities is less than two thirds the median wages for workers without disabilities (Disability Statistics & Demographics Rehabilitation Research and Training Center, 2011). Furthermore, the 1937 Section 14c provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act authorizes employers to pay sub-minimum wages to workers who have disabilities.

Do you plan to phase out the 1937 Section 14c of the Fair Labor Standards Act?

How will you expand supported employment services to people with disabilities?

How do you plan to build an infrastructure to address the underemployment and wage gaps experienced by people with disabilities?


In a free market economic system, labor is as much a commodity as any other good or service.  People in the workforce respond to the incentives that lead them to leave the workforce or remain a part of it. People with disabilities have the right to be paid on parity with all others in the work force so they may earn a fair days wage for a fair day’s work.  My administration will work with Congress to ensure that labor laws treat people with disabilities fairly.  



Opening doors for entrepreneurs and small business owners with disabilities is vital to addressing employment for people with disabilities. The next administration will need to create new opportunities for people with disabilities to start their own businesses and compete for government contracts.

How do you plan to ensure that people with disabilities can open and sustain small businesses?

How do you plan to include business-owners with disabilities in the competitions to obtain government contracts?


It is stunning that after seven years of Obama and Clinton that people with disabilities are no better off today than they were 8 years ago.

Our government acquisition system is structured in such a way as to provide access to government contracts for minority and woman-owned businesses.  This system should be reviewed and reformed, if necessary. My administration will seek to create opportunities for all Americans, including Americans with disabilities, on an equal basis without discrimination.



Youth with disabilities often find themselves distanced from the opportunities to learn job skills through work in their formative years leading to unemployment and underemployment throughout their lives.

How do you plan to engage youth with disabilities in pre-employment opportunities that will lead to successful transitions from school to work and/or higher education?

How would you reform the public workforce system to ensure people with disabilities, especially youth with disabilities, are fully integrated into the economic development of regional economies?


Dealing with the challenges of employing and training young people with disabilities will require my administration to work with Congress; I would support legislation concerning those goals. My administration will work with Congress to establish national priorities that will reflect the will of the people.



Of the federal and state expenditures combined for working age people with disabilities, 41 percent is spent on income benefits (e.g., SSI and SSDI) and 55 percent on health care (Medicaid and Medicare). A paltry 1.2 percent of federal and state expenditures go to educating, training and employment programs for people with disabilities.

With 4.6 million people with disabilities on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and 8.9 million people on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), how would your administration reform these federal income support programs so people with disabilities can receive income supports without being required to preclude working so they can secure employment or return to employment sooner?

Medicaid eligibility and programmatic requirements now create barriers for individuals with disabilities seeking to enter or return to the workplace because they cannot access needed supports such as personal care attendants, power wheelchairs, complex rehab technology, other rehabilitation devices and services, home and community based services, medical supplies and therapies.  Do you support initiatives that would allow workers with disabilities to continue to work past age 65, maintain eligibility from state to state, and carry their Medicaid benefits into private employment settings?  How would you work with the private sector to address the critical independent living supports that many private insurance programs do not cover for people with disabilities?


No federal government program should discourage anyone from working. Many programs must be streamlined and improved to establish national priorities that meet the needs and demands of all Americans. The doubling of the national debt from $10 trillion to $20 trillion in just the last 8 years means we will need to keep a close eye on expanding government spending. However, by eliminating ineffective programs and untangling the labyrinth of programs serving people with disabilities, we can deliver improved outcomes without necessarily increasing spending. I will seriously weigh the merits of any legislation on this issue that Congress would send to me if I were fortunate enough to be elected President.



The vast majority of Americans with disabilities and older Americans prefer home and community based services that allow them to live independently in their communities, however, states and insurance providers of Long Term Services and Supports (LTSS) still restrict access to community-based services which results in unwanted institutionalization, depriving institutionalized individuals of their fundamental freedoms and cutting short their lives.  This reliance on institutional placement is also far more expensive than services in the community.

If elected, will you support the Disability Integration Act (currently S.2427/HR.5689) – bipartisan civil rights legislation that establishes in statute the right of Americans with LTSS disabilities to receive services and supports in the community and be integrated in society – and sign this or similar civil rights legislation into law?

What other investments will you make in expanding long-term services and supports?


This is another example of inflexible federal regulations that waste money and fail to deliver the services needed. My administration will work with Congress and agencies to eliminate unneeded regulations to improve the services the government provides individuals with disabilities. I will consider all legislation that accomplishes that goal. 



Access to affordable and reliable transportation allows people with disabilities important opportunities to go to school, work, take care of their health, live where they desire, and participate in all aspects of community life. Because our nation’s investments in transportation infrastructure have disproportionately favored cars and highways, those who cannot afford cars or do not operate cars often lack viable transportation options.


Access to public transportation is a key to independence and full community participation for people with disabilities.

What would you do to expand access to affordable and accessible transportation for people with disabilities, especially in rural areas?


This is a critical question that must be dealt with by the federal government. We should integrate into our investments in infrastructure and transportation assets policies to provide to the extent possible services required by people with disabilities. 



Transportation networking companies (TNCs) like Uber and Lyft have the potential to increase transportation options for people with disabilities. Unfortunately, TNCs have discriminated against people with disabilities by refusing rides to individuals with service animals and individuals using wheelchairs.

What would your Administration do to ensure all people with disabilities have access to the services provided by TNC’s?


TNCs operate on licenses issued at the local level. Should Congress addresses this issue, I will consider the legislation from the perspective of meeting the needs and respecting the rights of individuals with disabilities when it reaches my desk.



As autonomous or self-driving vehicles move towards becoming a reality, they promise new mobility options and increased independence for people with disabilities who have missed out on the benefits of a century of automotive history.

What will your Administration do to ensure people with disabilities are not left at the side of the road but realize the maximum benefits possible as self-driving technology continues to develop and advance and regulations get promulgated?


This technology is in its infancy and I am sure its developers would be open to such concerns, but ultimately, this is an issue that will be settled in a free market economy. If there is demand, there will be supply. There is no reason at this juncture to believe that people with disabilities will not be able to buy or otherwise have access to self-driving vehicles.



Air travel can be complicated for everyone, but people with disabilities encounter many additional barriers to air travel. From the time we enter the airport, we are faced with obstacles that not only result in frequent delays and missed flights, but they also put our dignity and safety at risk. People with disabilities frequently experience inaccessible facilities and equipment in airports, overly intrusive and discriminatory TSA security screenings, breakage of mobility and medical equipment, unsafe and harmful transport and transfers by airport staff, inaccessible aircraft facilities and amenities, and additional fees. Air travel can be extremely difficult for people with disabilities, including those who must travel for work, sometimes rendering it nearly impossible.

As President, what would you do to address this issue?


Difficulties with TSA have been a problem for many Americans and its performance must improve on many fronts. Enhanced training for TSA agents will be a priority for my administration and we will review possible gaps in our disability laws and training in this regard. 



Accessible mainstream communication and information technologies, as well as assistive and adaptive technologies, often allow people with disabilities to secure and maintain employment, participate in educational activities, and experience entertainment like everyone else.


The U.S. Congress enacted section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act in 1973, a statute that requires the federal government to purchase information technology that is accessible to and usable by employees with disabilities in the federal government and by customers with disabilities accessing federal government services online.  Despite this longstanding requirement, many federal websites and online government services remain inaccessible to users who are blind, people with low vision, people with intellectual disabilities and other disabilities.

Would you make it a priority to ensure federal agencies make their websites and all other information technology accessible?  How will you implement this?


The Executive branch of government under my administration will do all it can to ensure that the laws of the land are enforced in this regard to the extent it is technologically feasible. 



The Internet of Things, including smart homes and other connected devices, has the potential to increase the independence and community integration of people with disabilities.  Connected devices are being developed and released for sale at breakneck speed with new devices coming to market every day often without any accessibility or usability requirements.  Universal design and accessibility features must be included in these devices in order for the Internet of Things to realize the potential it has to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities. Under Title II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, people with disabilities have access to modifications, accommodations, and auxiliary aides or services to participate in the activities and services of both local and state government and places of public accommodations, a protection that currently does not exist on the Internet of Things.

What will you do to ensure that people with disabilities have the same access to the Internet of Things as provided to nondisabled individuals?


The hallmark of high-tech is personally customizable devices and products. The high-tech community should not be averse to achieving these goals for people with disabilities as technology makes it feasible.  To the extent the industry unfairly or actively discriminates against people with disabilities, I will work with Congress and relevant authorities to enforce the law. 



Due to the enactment and implementation of a key civil rights law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA, or the “special education” law), high school graduation rates for people with disabilities have increased 45 percent since 1995, with an associated decrease in dropout rates for students with disabilities. Similarly, enrollment in college has doubled for students with disabilities. Nevertheless, local school districts struggle to serve students with disabilities and students with disabilities seeking a higher education continue to face enormous barriers to success.


When IDEA was passed in 1975, Congress pledged to fund 40% of the differential cost of serving students with disabilities. The closest the federal government has come to meeting that pledge is 19% in 2010. Higher levels of funding will ensure more students with disabilities receive the supports they need in K-12, are able to complete high school, and have the opportunity to go on to postsecondary education and postsecondary employment.

Do you support funding IDEA at higher levels?


The level of funding in every aspect of education is an issue which has been made harder by the doubling of the national debt from $10 trillion to $20 trillion in the last 8 years alone. By eliminating waste and duplicative ineffective programs we will be able to deliver better outcomes. Increasing federal spending in any area has now been made more difficult, but I will work with Congress to decide among the many priorities like IDEA funding. 



In some localities, students with disabilities are not taught the challenging curriculum available to students without disabilities.

How would you ensure that students with disabilities have the same access to ambitious educational opportunities that other students have?

How would you increase the number of high school graduates with disabilities and what would you do to ensure more college graduates with disabilities secure employment and are hired by the private sector?


The federal government should have as minimal a role in local public education as possible. That said, the government should protect the civil rights of students with disabilities. There are civil rights mechanisms in place to do just that already, such as the federal court ruling that disabled children have a right to a free and appropriate education. The federal government enforces that ruling and my administration will enforce it when it is violated.  



Bullying of students with disabilities is a long-standing problem. So is the use of restraints and seclusion, especially for students with disabilities.

Do you support amending the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to protect young students with disabilities from bullying and the use of restraints and seclusion, and to require state educational agencies and local school districts systems to report incidents of bullying and the use of restraints and seclusion, and to provide interventions to reduce bullying and the use of restrains and seclusion?


No child should be bullied in school — by other students or staff. This is another issue regarding people with disabilities that I would ask a Cabinet-led task force to review and work with Executive Branch agencies and Departments and Congress as appropriate. 



Students with disabilities frequently lack access to the general education classroom.

What steps will you take to expand access to the general education classroom and broader inclusion for students with disabilities?


The federal courts have already found that students with disabilities are entitled to a free and appropriate education. To the extent this ruling is not being properly carried out, I will be open to ensuring that it is. 



Americans with disabilities face many obstacles and barriers to voting, including inaccessible polling places and voting equipment, difficulty getting to the polling place, and poorly informed election officials and poll workers about access issues.

What will you do to ensure people with disabilities have equal access to the fundamental right to vote?

Do you support providing funding to states so they can purchase new accessible voting systems to replace the first generation accessible voting systems that have outlived their useful life?


I would support funding states so that they might fulfill their Constitutional requirements to conduct elections, including reasonable accessibility for people with disabilities and other Americans to exercise their right to vote. 



The lack of affordable, accessible housing has taken an egregious toll on the lives of people with disabilities who continue to be warehoused in nursing homes and other institutional settings.

As President, what will you do to address the need for affordable, integrated accessible housing for people with disabilities?


Federal law prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in both private and public housing and requires housing providers to make reasonable accommodations, including modifications, for Americans with disabilities. Federal law also requires that most multi-family housing built after 1991 have accessible entrances, common areas, doors, bathrooms, and kitchens. I support these laws and will be open to improving them. 



People with disabilities rely on both public (Medicaid) and private insurance options to obtain coverage to meet their health care needs. Access to affordable comprehensive health care coverage is essential for people with disabilities to live independently and maximize the quality of their lives. Unfortunately, many people with disabilities continue to lack access to the services and supports they need. In addition, despite existing legal protections, people with disabilities are subject to discrimination in both the financing and provision of health care services.

What will you do to address discrimination in the financing and provision of health care services to people with disabilities? Will you make enforcement of existing health care nondiscrimination protections for people with disabilities a priority?

How will you work to expand access to affordable, comprehensive health care coverage for people with disabilities?

How will you work to improve the Medicaid program, including ensuring access to home and community based services and the elimination of the bias toward institutional services in the Medicaid program?


Inflexible, one-size-fits-all regulations in federal programs including Medicaid have harmed, not served, people with disabilities. The bias toward institutional care built into to regulations promulgated by the HHS waste money and fail to deliver the services needed. My administration will work to eliminate unneeded regulation and allow for greater flexibility in regulations to ensure programs including Medicaid better serve the needs of people with disabilities.



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