2020 Presidential Primary Candidate Survey on Disability
Marianne Williamson’s Responses
Employment: What are your views on paying a subminimum wage based on disability?
Marianne Williamson does not support paying persons with disabilities sub-minimum wages.
Assistive Technology: What do you plan to do to increase access to assistive technology for people with disabilities who need it to effectively and independently engage in their communities?
Marianne Williamson believes that increased access to broadband and information technology infrastructure all across the United States should be a priority for economic development and social well-being. Along with that increased access, the Federal Government should increase funding to ensure that we increase assistive technology for people with disabilities and others who may need such technology to facilitate effective and independent community engagement.
Special Education: How would you propose to strengthen the IDEA when it is reauthorized so that it truly fulfills its stated purpose of preparing children with disabilities for post-secondary education, employment, and independent living, including children with the most significant disabilities?
Marianne Williamson supports strengthening the IDEA with increased resources in terms of funding and concurrent education about its benefits when it is reauthorized so that it truly fulfills its stated purpose of preparing children with disabilities for post-secondary education, employment, and independent living, including children with the most significant disabilities
Mental Health Services: What is your vision for a system of services to support people with mental illness?
Marianne Williamson sees a crisis in mental health in the United States that is reflected in part, in the anxiety of our population, including unacceptable rates of suicide, substance abuse and addiction and a health care system which is really a sickness care system, not truly a health care system. First, health care, including treatment for Mental health, is a right and should not be a privilege reserved for a few. Marianne favors a robust Universal health care system which ensures every person has access to affordable, high quality, portable health care. Mental health care should be treated on par with Physical health care. Most importantly, Marianne Williamson’s Presidency will address the constellation of underlying and connected challenges to the genuine pursuit of happiness guaranteed by our founding documents.
Workforce Shortage: Please explain how you would address this immediate and growing workforce shortage?
People with disabilities have often been both misunderstood and victimized with institutionalization, lack of adequate funding and resources and less than the measure of respect they deserve in a just and moral society.
By default, those who directly work for them as direct support professionals have suffered from low wages, lackluster benefits and stigmatization, with an average national wage of approximately $11.00 per hour. Direct support professionals are critical to providing care, support and a reasonable quality of life for those with disabilities with whom they work. Raising the minimum wage to a livable wage, starting at $15.00 is a first step. Strengthening a workforce with universal, affordable and portable access to healthcare is another important step. The current administration has proposed tens of millions of dollars of cuts to federal programs that support those with disabilities. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/17/opinion/disability-budget-cuts-trump.html. This is unconscionable. A Williamson administration will propose and support Increasing federal funding assistance for disability resources.