2020 Presidential Primary Candidate Survey on Disability
Andrew Yang’s Responses
Employment: What are your views on paying a subminimum wage based on disability?
I support a repeal of the portions of the FLSA allowing for a subminimum wage to be paid based on disability. I believe there are better ways to encourage the hiring of those with disabilities at normal wages, including federal subsidies.
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?
As President, I’d pass a Medicare for All system, including coverage for assistive technology. We should also cover early diagnosis and intervention, ensuring that we’re able to provide this assistance as early as possible. And I’d also consider covering certain technologies for family members who are providing assistance in care.
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?
IDEA’s planning resources should be extended through a child’s early life through Pre-K, during a universal Pre-K system. Individualized Education Plans should include family involvement similar to IFSPs. We should also invest heavily in programs that investigate alternative and more productive means of dealing with behavioral issues rather than suspension/expulsion, to keep children with these issues in school while teaching them to deal with any negative thoughts or impulses.
Mental Health Services: What is your vision for a system of services to support people with mental illness?
My Medicare for All system would cover all mental health issues. I’d also invest in remote assistance programs to provide care in areas where it isn’t available and encourage people to go into mental health professions. Licensing changes could make certain services more widely available. I will also continue to talk about raising a son with autism throughout my term in office. And I’d have a White House psychologist on staff for all members to destigmatize treatment.
Workforce Shortage: Please explain how you would address this immediate and growing workforce shortage?
This is a tough question and one that no one has provided a great answer for. I think we need to find ways to subsidize this work in order to encourage more people to go into it. We can also do a better job of making this one step in a career track, which wouldn’t help with turnover but could increase the volume of assistance available. There are also programs that allow individuals to earn care credits for helping out when they’re young, and then trading them for care when they’re old, that are worth investigating.