Presidential disability forum set for September 28

illustration of two podiums with microphones

In an opportunity for the Obama and Romney campaigns to spell out their platforms for disability matters, the National Forum on Disability Issues will be held at the Hyatt Regency in Columbus, Ohio on September 28.

Each candidate will receive 30 minutes: 10 minutes to lay out their platforms and 20 minutes to answer questions, according to a Disability Scoop article.

In a column in Politico from September 16, former Republic Presidential Candidate Bob Dole and former California Rep. Tony Coelho called on the candidates to recognize the “untapped power” of people with disabilities in the upcoming election.

“Issues facing Americans with disabilities and their families are universal and nonpartisan,” Dole and Coehlo wrote. “Those with disabilities want to know where the candidates stand on matters related to health, long-term support and services, education and employment.

“We extend an open invitation to President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Gov. Mitt Romney to share their visions for the future of U.S. disability policy by attending, or sending high-level representatives to Columbus, Ohio on Sept. 28 to meet with those in the disability community. They deserve to know where their issues stand with each candidate and their campaigns.

In 2008, Republican presidential nominee John McCain participated via satellite and Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa spoke on behalf of Obama.

“It’s a unique opportunity because it’s the only national event focused specifically on people with disabilities and we think it’s really important that their voices be heard,” Kaelan Richards of United Cerebral Palsy, who is part of the event’s planning committee, told Disability Scoop.

The National Disability Rights Network’s guide to voting resources can be accessed here.