For Immediate Release
Press Contact:
Kim Musheno, 301-588-8252
Donna Meltzer, 301-918-3764

Washington, D.C. (September 25, 2012) --The Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), a coalition of more than 100 national disability-focused organizations is one of 80 sponsors of the upcoming National Forum on Disability Issues (NFDI). The event takes place between 12:30pm (ET) and 3:30pm Friday September 28, 2012 at the Hyatt Regency, Columbus, Ohio. The event will feature Edward M. “Ted” Kennedy, Jr. representing President Obama, and U.S. Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers representing Governor Romney.

“This non-partisan forum is the only national event that brings together representatives from President Barack Obama’s and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s campaigns and provides them with a platform to represent their candidate’s positions on disability issues and to engage in discussion with people with disabilities,” said Kim Musheno of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) and a lead organizer of the event. “The disability community is very excited to have this opportunity to hear from both parties at multiple levels,” continued Musheno who explained that invitations were also extended to candidates from both parties for the U.S. Senate from Ohio. Rep. Nancy Garland (D-New Albany) has confirmed her participation on behalf of Sen. Brown, and Republican nominee Treasurer Josh Mandel has confirmed his participation.

“I am so pleased that the CCD is a co-sponsor of this critical event,” said Donna Meltzer, CCD Chair. “Given the magnitude of issues involved in the 2012 presidential race, it is imperative that people with disabilities and others who care about disability issues hear how each candidate will address such concerns as Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security Disability Insurance, education, transportation and the national debt situation and its implications,” Meltzer continued.

With more than 57 million Americans living with disabilities, this type of forum is a necessary component akin to the national presidential debates that begin next week. According to a new Greenberg/Laszlo national poll of 1000 likely voters, by a 41%-1% margin American voters are more likely to vote for a candidate committed to those with disabilities. Additionally, fully 51 percent of voters report that they, a family member, or close friend has a disability.

Frank Sesno, director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at the George Washington University, and former CNN White House correspondent, anchor and Washington bureau chief will serve as moderator.

For more information and to register to view the event live, visit the Forum website: www.nfdi.org.

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