Photo of Senator Kennedy.

State Senator

Ted Kennedy, Jr.

Representing Branford, Durham, Guilford, Killingworth, Madison & North Branford

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Kennedy Announces Kick-Off of National Disability Voter Registration Week

This year’s registration drive held in honor of the 27th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

Senator Ted Kennedy, Jr. (D-Branford), Board Chair of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), is inviting people from across Connecticut to participate in National Disability Voter Registration Week, which is held from July 17 to July 21. This nationwide event is held every year to highlight the need for people with disabilities to make their voices heard in the political process. The annual event is called “REV UP,” which stands for “Register! Educate! Vote! Use your Power!”

“The Americans with Disabilities Act was a transformative moment for disability rights in our country, and I can’t think of a better time for people to make their voices heard,” said Senator Kennedy, a healthcare lawyer and civil rights activist for people with disabilities. “We are at a critical turning point for the disability rights movement. Healthcare proposals at the federal level are threatening basic healthcare access for people with disabilities and many other Americans. The time has come for our community to oppose these harmful policy and program proposals.

“I lost my leg to bone cancer when I was 12 years old. For the past 30 years, I have worked as a disability rights advocate to ensure that people with disabilities are valued equally and can participate fully in our society. Republican healthcare proposals are threatening to undo much of the progress that the disability rights movement has made in those years. It is absolutely critical that we all stay engaged and get involved. If you are a person with disabilities who is not registered to vote, now is the time get registered and be heard.”

There are 36 million Americans with disabilities who are eligible to vote, making people with disabilities one of the country’s largest voting blocs. As of the 2016 election, there were about 200 million registered voters in the United States. Voter registration and turnout rates amongst people with disabilities have improved substantially in recent years, and studies on the subject expect that 3 million people with disabilities who have not voted in the past may turn up at the polls in coming elections.

With voter registration and turnout rates for people with disabilities trending upwards, this voting bloc may become very influential in state and national elections. Kennedy and others at the AAPD are working to unify the disability community around issues that are important to them. By sending a unified message, this increasingly powerful voting bloc can be heard and impact the national dialogue on housing opportunities, education, and employment for people with disabilities.

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