Local disability rights advocates attend national forum via web
by Jennifer Cohron
Sep 29, 2012 | 2973 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Walker County was among an estimated 3,000 sites around the country that hosted a live viewing party of Friday’s National Forum on Disability Issues.

Supporters of Disability Rights and Resources met at the Community Health Systems Activities Center in Jasper to learn more about the disability platforms of presidential candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

Obama was represented at the forum by Ted Kennedy Jr. Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers presented the views of Romney.

The event was held in Columbus, Ohio, and also featured the two Senate candidates from that swing state.

Topics of discussion included the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid block grants, employment opportunities for people with disabilities and community living as opposed to institutionalization.

Trecia Benefield of Disability Rights and Resources said the forum provided valuable information for the one in five individuals in the United States living with a disability.

“There is a suspicion that people with disabilities don’t know why or even who they are voting for. I think the people who attended today left with much more knowledge than when they came,” Benefield said.

Benefield noted that Walker County has made great strides in recent years in making the voting process accessible to people with disabilities.

She also reminded local residents that they should not be turned away from a polling place for not having a photo ID until 2014 and encouraged everyone to exercise their right to vote.

“Your vote has value and we should use it,” Benefield said.