More politicians with disabilities have been running for political offices and getting elected ever since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990.
Even though it is common knowledge that politicians with disabilities aren’t the only politicians who can advocate for people with disabilities, the fact still remains that voters really love to see themselves in candidates contesting to represent them in an election, this is why they are more interested in manifestos.
The disability community is actually looking forward to seeing more folks with disabilities contesting in an election because the participation of people with disabilities in elections emboldened others to run for political offices and be a part of the decision-making process in the country.
In recent studies by Rutger University on disability and inclusive representation in politics, it was discovered through the data gathered from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey that people with disabilities are increasingly contesting and getting elected into political offices across the country.
The study, which among many other things, measures disability based on hearing, visual, mobility and cognitive impairments found that 10.3 percent of full-time elected officials at the federal, state and local levels between 2013 and 2017 had a disability. The data simply pointed out that there has been an increase in the number of elected people with disabilities.
Although we think people with disabilities are experiencing a surge in representation, it is still valid to say people with disabilities remain underrepresented overall: About 15 percent of the U.S. adult population has a disability. The study also revealed that twelve percent of elected officials in local government have a disability, compared with 6.9 percent at the state level and 6.3 percent in Congress.
"Politics is part of our day to day activity in this country. We have people doing great advocacy work, people fighting daily for disability rights in the congress, we have Sen. Tammy Duckworth and few other people with disabilities trying to make sure our voice is heard. It is important for more people with disabilities to get involved in politics so that the decision-making process in America will be more inclusive," Joyce Gareth, an octogenarian with disabilities said.