HLAA Sponsors Disability Forum for 2008 Presidential Candidates

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HLAA Sponsors Disability Forum for 2008 Presidential Candidates

Sat, 07/26/2008

Columbus, Ohio - Hearing Loss Association of America is pleased to count ourselves among the more than 60 sponsors of the National Forum on Disability Issues. The event will be held on July 26, 2008, the 18th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act in Columbus Ohio.  Presidential Candidates have been invited to attend and the forum is open to over a 1000 people in the disability community. CART will be available, as will sign language interpreters. We are able to sponsor this important event thanks to a generous donation from former president of HLAA, Marcia Finisdore.

Event Summary:
The National Forum on Disability Issues, featuring the 2008 Presidential Candidates (invited) is a historic, nonpartisan forum on national disability policy to be held on July 26, 2008 in Columbus, Ohio at the Conference & Technology Center of the First Church of God - an accessibility-friendly venue that will accommodate our large numbers of attendees.

The forum will feature time slots for the presidential candidates to individually present their visions for the future of disability policy in America (including employment, healthcare, long-term community-based supports, transportation, education, etc.) followed by questions by Judy Woodruff, news anchor and journalist ("The News Hour with Jim Lehrer"), who will act as the moderator.

This presidential candidates forum builds on the success of our November primary-focused forum in New Hampshire, where the disability community made history with its first-ever disability presidential candidates forum with participation from seven presidential candidates, five of them in person.

Unique Qualities:

  • This is a historic, nonpartisan, cross-disability event - THE disability event of this election cycle through which the candidates can reach voters with disabilities, their families, caregivers, advocates, and friends
    • Over 1,000 in-person from Ohio and surrounding states
    • Tens of thousands listening and watching via simultaneous webcast from across the country at webcast "viewing parties"
    • The forum will also be broadcast live start to finish over all Ohio radio reading services, giving access to the event to people with disabilities who don't have a computer and aren't able to attend to attend the event in person
  • Coincides with 18th anniversary of the ADA, making this a ready-made event to commemorate our great civil-rights law
  • The event has garnered the sponsorship of over 60 national, state, and local disability-related groups, making this a truly community-owned event
  • Several major disability veterans groups are sponsoring this event
  • AARP is sponsoring this event
  • News anchor and journalist Judy Woodruff (PBS, "The News Hour with Jim Lehrer") is moderating the event
  • Candidates' speeches and answers to questions will be simultaneously captioned and translated by American Sign Language interpreters at the event

Other Important Facts:

The disability community is a large constituency, representing over 50 million Americans, over 37 million of whom are voting age and approximately 31.5 million Americans have a hearing loss. Add to that figure our friends, families, caregivers, and supporters, and the importance of addressing disability policy issues becomes even clearer.

Hearing Loss Association of America, with our chapter members across the country are proud sponsors of this event. We would like to see both candidates have an opportunity to present their positions at this important event.