Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton vowed in a speech on Wednesday to make defending the disabled a ‘vital aspect’ of her presidency. Clinton argued in favor of giving the disabled an equal chance for success at an event in Florida.
Trump memorably mocked a New York Times reporter with arthrogryposis last year, but Clinton left her opponent’s name out of her 30-minute speech.
Clinton’s speech is the fourth that focused on policy rather than politics, something her aides have been pushing for in an attempt to shift the focus to issues Americans care about.
The Democratic nominee said disabled individuals are “overlooked and undervalued” and criticized the United States for failing to protect their rights.
“We’ve got to face that and do better – for everyone’s sake,” she said. “This really does go to the heart of who we are as Americans.”
If elected president, Clinton pledged to eliminate the subminimum wage, and press Congress to back the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. She also called for the establishment of a program that would help with autism in the workplace.
“We’re going to eliminate the subminimum wage, which is a vestige from an ugly, ignorant past,” said Clinton, referring to a law that allows employers to pay people with disabilities less than the minimum wage.
Protecting the rights of the disabled is an important issue for many Americans. Jennifer Mizrahi, Respect Ability president, stated there are 400,000 disabled individuals working in “sheltered workshops” that are paid as little as “20 cents per hour.”