Today, one in four U.S. adults live with disabilities—and numbers are rising rapidly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has been a mass disabling event. Yet disabled people represent an historically underappreciated voting bloc in American politics, and have largely been left behind by the U.S. economy, facing poverty at twice the rates of people without disabilities.
New polling conducted by Data for Progress, in partnership with The Century Foundation’s newly launched Disability Economic Justice Collaborative, underscores the political consequences of ignoring voters with disabilities. We measured public attitudes—with special attention to the attitudes of disabled voters—on a range of policy proposals that would begin to break the persistent link between disability and poverty.
What we found was striking: Just three in ten disabled voters believe that leaders in Washington, D.C. care about people with disabilities.