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For Immediate Release: January 8, 2013 Contact: Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi Tel: 202-365-0787 Email: jenniferm@respectabilityusa


RespectAbility Denounces 9/11 Disability Fraud: Major New Poll of Nearly 4000 in Disability Community Shows People with Disabilities Want Jobs, Not Gov't Benefits:
CALL AT 2 PM EST WITH JENNIFER LASZLO MIZRAHI & MEAGAN BUREN TODAY! 1-888-453-9924 USA (Toll Free) 1-334-323-7224 USA (From Abroad – not toll free) Passcode: Respect RSVP for the call HERE Slides HERE

3 out of 4 people with disabilities surveyed value a job and independence over government benefits; and Disability community has very little trust in the President, Congress, or their governors on these issues; and 95% of the disability community is more likely to vote for candidates with record on improving opportunities for people with disabilities.

(Washington, D.C.) As people with disabilities are reeling with the news that

the disability system may have been bilked of hundreds of millions of dollars by 9/11 responders and others faking disabilities, a new poll shows that nearly 3 out of 4 people with disabilities in America say it is more important to them to "have a job and be independent" than it is "that there is a government safety net of benefits so that I will be taken care of." This holds true across party lines. Said Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, President of RespectAbilityUSA, a non-profit, non-partisan organization devoted to empowering people with disabilities to achieve the American dream, "We are disgusted by the actions of individuals who defraud taxpayers with fake disability benefits. It makes the rest of us with real disabilities, and those who we care about them look guilty, and it makes it more difficult to have important conversations about our hopes, aspirations and dreams of entering the workforce and being active, contributing members of society." Mizrahi, who herself is highly dyslexic and knows the joys and challenges of raising a child with multiple disabilities, continued "The safety net is critical to many, and if these horrific allegations are true, then Americans with disabilities have been robbed of a much needed dollars from SSDI and other safety nets by people wrapping themselves in a false hero status. Still, this new poll shows overwhelmingly the people with disabilities (PwDs) want jobs far more than they want to rely on government. Too many people with disabilities (PwDs) are prevented from having a real job at a real wage because of employer misconceptions and because the structure of the benefit system prevents people from working more. Republican, Democrat, Independent -- what comes across clearly in the poll is that people with disabilities want to work, pay taxes and be full members of our society." According to the U.S. Census, roughly 1 out of every 5 Americans has a disability (56 million Americans) and an earlier study released by Laszlo Strategies found that 51% of Americans have a close friend or family member with a disability. This most recent poll released for the first time today by RespectAbility included 1,969 people with disabilities and 1,870 friends, family members, professionals, and volunteers in the disability community. Today 70 percent of working age Americans with disabilities are outside of the workforce, compared to 28% of people without disabilities. Companies such as Walgreens, EY, AMC and others have shown that people with disabilities can

make outstanding employees. But many employers deny people with disabilities the chance to prove themselves by helping their companies succeed. Clearly, while a safety net is seen as vital, what people with disabilities want most are jobs. The poll data shows that the disability community gave the President, Congress and their governors failing grades when asked to rate them on a scale of 1-10 in how much they trust them to do the right thing to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities. President Obama rated low, but highest of the three. There was a partisan split on ratings of President Obama with 53% of Democrats rating him 7-10 versus only 7% of Republicans. There was not, however a split by party for ratings of Congress. Less than 1/3 of people surveyed in the disability community thinks that "society expects people with a disability to work" and yet 85% of people with disabilities say that, "having a job is important to their happiness." Voting rates among respondents were very high at 90%, however, of those who did not vote, nearly 40% faced a barrier to voting because of their disability. Nearly 80% of the friends, family, professionals, and volunteers polled, helped a person with a disability determine who to vote for in the last election. The survey was fielded online November 6-December 2, 2013. The survey was shared via email lists of RespectAbility and numerous other organizations in the disability community and on social media. More information about methodology and poll results can be found here. Much more data from the poll will be released Friday at 1:30 pm ET.