ABHMS signs letter urging candidates to address disability concerns

American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) has joined more than 100 organizations and individuals of faith in signing a letter that urges political candidates to address disability concerns. In addition, ABHMS encourages American Baptists to sign the letter.

Written by the Interfaith Disability Advocacy Coalition (IDAC)—a program of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)—the letter notes that Americans with disabilities “make remarkable and valuable contributions to our communities,” yet, “continue to face discrimination in many areas, including employment, transportation and education.” The letter encourages candidates for public office to address these disparities and set forth a “vision to encourage the civil rights of people with disabilities, and to promote their full inclusion in society.”

The letter is part of the “REV UP [Register, Educate, Vote, and Use your Power] America—Make the DISABILITY VOTE Count” campaign, launched by AAPD, the Texas Disability Project, Disability Rights Texas and other disability advocacy groups. The REV UP campaign is promoting the growing influence of the disability vote nationwide while working to ensure access to the polls on Election Day for Americans with disabilities.

“Faith communities have long encouraged their members to engage in responsible citizenship, including voting,” says Curtis Ramsey-Lucas, ABHMS managing director of Resource Development and IDAC director of Interfaith Engagement. “Through its involvement in the REV UP Campaign, IDAC seeks to build on these efforts by encouraging candidates for public office to make a greater effort to engage the concerns of the disability community. It is our hope that, in doing so, the American experiment of self-government increasingly includes and reflects the voices, concerns and wisdom of people with disabilities.”

IDAC mobilizes the religious community to take action on disability policy with Congress, the president and administration, and society-at-large. ABHMS is a member of IDAC.

Information about ABHMS’ Disability Ministries is available online.