Kyle Foster Introduces the Disability Party to Facebook

Kyle Foster posted this on the Left-Libertarian Alliance page on Facebook, on June 30, 2013.

If the two major US parties including third parties actually cared about disabled people they would have a disability caucus. There needs to be real disability leadership in order for the disability community to have their voices heard. That leadership is the Disability Party. It was created by Andrew Straw who is Indiana/Illinois State Chair and USA/International Chair. I am the Michigan State Chair and want to spread the word. Below are links to the facebook pages of the Disability Party.

Earlier on the same page, Mr. Foster introduced himself:

Hi everyone I’m Kyle.I am 23, bisexual, single and living in Muskegon, Michigan in an independent living home. I’m in a power wheelchair and have what’s called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. When I was younger I may have went to church from time to time but never was forced to go and religion was in my household was rarely spoken of. When I was 19 I came to discover I am an atheist due to fact I believed more in science. Well other than my atheism, I am a disability rights activist and a supporter of the green party. I work at a shop called Kandu Inc. where they hire disabled people and teach them important job skills. Alongside work I serve on a few disability committees and I am involved with a disability community organizing group called Creating Doers. In my spare time I watch movies, write song lyrics, listen to music, travel, go to karaoke bars, go to concerts and take strolls in my power chair.

I did a Google search on the Disability Party, and found little besides the Facebook pages. I did, however find this on Ballotpedia:

The Disability Party exists in only one state, Indiana, as of March 8, 2013. The state chair, attorney and politician Andrew Straw, established the party with the Indiana Secretary of State’s office on February 5, 2013 and established Disability Party, Ltd., on February 6, 2013. In the course of 32 days, from February 5 to March 8, the Party’s Facebook page went from 0 to 527 fans. In comparison, the Indiana Green Party group has under 300 members, the Democrats’ page has about 3,300, the Libertarians about 4,500, and the Indiana Republican Party over 13,000.

Straw has said, “there is a reason this movement has to happen in Indiana first. Indiana was the first place in the world to pass a Eugenics Law, and thousands of disabled Hoosiers were forcibly sterilized. This was 25 years before the Nazis began similar measures as part of the Holocaust.”

The rest of the Ballotpedia information can be found here .

24 thoughts on “Kyle Foster Introduces the Disability Party to Facebook

  1. Thomas L. Knapp

    The Disability Party has actually been around for awhile.

    In 2006, when I wanted to find out if the Boston Tea Party would be the first political party to hold a convention entirely online, I ran across some stuff about the Disability Party planning to “hold an online 2004 convention,” but it turned out that their definition of an “online convention” was for anyone who wanted to vote on their presidential nomination to send an email to a particular address.

  2. JD

    Just out of curiosity, how much more are we really supposed to do for the disabled in this country? We have ADA and we have SSI. We also have 15 trillion in debts, 1 trillion as an annual deficit, and more flying out the window each day. I don’t mind giving to the Special Olympics or certain charities but really how much more can we do?

  3. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Good questions, JD. I’d really like to know more about their party. Perhaps they have some pro-active ideas.

  4. JD

    The same can be said about the elderly. I am sympathetic for the elderly, infirmed, and disabled but sadly we have not figured out anything to truly fix their condition. For the elderly we haven’t really figured out anything better to do than stick them in a retirement home. That is sad.

  5. Ad Hoc

    Wealthier societies are able to treat various different kinds of people better, including the elderly and disabled, and freer markets make societies wealthier quicker. Thus, over time, any government programs ostensibly intended to help the disabled, elderly, etc., end up hurting them as well as everyone else.

  6. Kyle Foster

    JD, The disabled are still being discriminated but not to where everyone notices. Some businesses and places that provide services to the disabled have found loopholes and have no incentives to follow the ADA. There are quite few issues that need to be dealt with.

  7. Ad Hoc

    Their facebook says they were founded this year. Do they have any connection to the Disability Party that Knapp mentions @2?

  8. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Do you have suggested solutions to the problems the disabled have? We talk about these things on our blog. Anything you’d like us to know can be posted here as a comment, or sent to me at, or to any of the other writers (see “About IPR above).

    I’m willing to bet most of us have a disabled relative or friend (I do), and I think this topic is of interest to many people.

  9. Kyle Foster

    Ad, I don’t think so but Andrew Straw can answer that. I was interested in the party, so Andrew suggested me to become Chair of it in my state of Michigan. He helped me figure out the paperwork and then made a fb page called Disability Party of Michigan.

  10. John Thorpe

    Single-issue parties are a terrible idea, unless you like diluting your voting base and seeing anti-whatyouwant politicians elected.

    It’s a nice and needed sentiment, but you’re not going to get what you want this way.

  11. Catholic Trotskyist

    Interesting idea; as a disabled person, I will definitely be following it and maybe even join, although I tend to agree with the comments about single-issue parties. Unfortunately the disabled people do need government services, and provide good arguments against libertarianism.

  12. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    This is an intriguing conversation. The term “disability” is huge. I know a bit about your condition, Kyle, and I know you have physical disabilities, but your mind seems intact. What about those whose bodies are healthy, but have cognitive difficulties? Do we have different rules for those different types of disabilities?

    Are overweight people considered to have disabilities?

    And here’s one I’ve though a lot about: what if, as an employer, I select a disabled person for a position I have open because I think this is the best person for the job. What if this person can’t do the job, the problem having nothing to do with their disability. If I terminate the person, won’t he or she be able to sue me that I really fired them for their disability, even though that isn’t what happened?

  13. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Kyle posted these on the Facebook page, as far as issues:

    The principles of the Disability Party are “Access and Opportunity.” The following positions expand on the principles.

    Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) must be enforced in all areas of life.

    voting by mail is a right of all disabled people in every state. It should be done automatically, so no disabled person has to reveal that they are disabled. This will also increase voter turnout in the USA by 41%. In a presidential race, this would mean 51 million more voters.
    ballot access to be a candidate for office is a right of disabled people. Petitions to get on the ballot must have an online option so disabled people can create a petition online and get other disabled people to sign it online and have signatures be official and verified on the spot. Disabled signature petition rights will reduce the fraud we so often see in these petitions too. Because of the special limitations of disabled people, there must be no time limits for collecting signatures except: petitioning starts the day after the last general election, and ends no earlier than July 31 before the next general election. This is for new/small party candidates like Disability Party candidates.

    physical barriers need to be eliminated. No excuses.

    EEOC employment discrimination complaints process needs to be made accessible. All staff email addresses need to be online. Communications need to be online, not by phone. Complaints need to be accepted online. Investigators currently insist on speaking with disabled people by phone, and they must not force them to do so. Investigators MUST follow ADA guidelines, not discriminate themselves on the basis of disability in investigating claims.

    judicial system needs to be fully accessible, including encouraging disabled people to become lawyers and judges.

    Americans with Disabilities Act must be enforced on all employers, with no size limits.

    ADA must be made to apply to the federal government, not just state governments.
    ADA must apply to the courts at the federal level.
    ADA must apply to Congress.
    ADA must apply to the executive branch of the federal government.

    Americans with Disabilities Act must provide damages for private discrimination.

    Discrimination happens in many areas of life, not just employment. Either let the EEOC investigate other discrimination covered under the Act, or set up an administrative agency that will.
    Damages should be a matter of administrative action, not court action. Damages must be automatic and statutory, if discrimination is found. No appeal. The process must be rapid, much faster than trial.

    SSDI needs to be strengthened.

    Getting a benefit should be automatic if a doctor verifies under oath that a person is disabled and unable to work.

    Applications need to be online.

    There should be no appeals process or expensive attorneys and government employees needed if a doctor asserts under oath that a person is disabled and unable to work.
    There should be a sickness benefit for a partial SSDI payment if a person is still able to work, but at a lower level due to illness or injury.

    Medicare needs to cover all Americans.

    this needs to happen in two steps. First, all Americans should be covered at age 55. Second, this age should be decreased 5 years at a time until all Americans are covered.
    Medicare needs to cover all medically necessary expenses. Paperwork and excessive burdens on doctors should be reduced dramatically. Far too much expense in medicine comes from Medicare’s excessive paperwork burdens.
    Doctors should decide what is medically necessary and Medicare should accept it.
    Medicaid and Medicare should be merged into one program. State involvement should cease and Medicare should be the national health insurance, uniform everywhere.

    Veterans should have access to the Medicare health insurance, but with no deductible or any other cost to them. Medicare should be integrated with the VA health system so veterans get the best care, wherever it is.
    Medicare must cover Americans when they travel overseas for up to 3 months. Americans with SSDI or sickness benefit must be covered overseas no matter how long the stay.

    Jobs program.

    All disabled people should have access to a 2-year jobs program where the federal government pays for employment at an employer at a market pay rate, if the person is qualified for the job.
    All disabled people should have access to 0% interest federal loans for education.
    All disabled people should have access to Small Business Administration loans at 2% interest for business creation and support. Maximum of $500,000 for new businesses, $2 million cap. Small Business Administration must loan directly. Only requirement is doctor’s affidavit that the person is disabled and that the person has a business plan. Requiring previous cash flow defeats the purpose of the loan, which is to enable a disabled person to generate cash flow not previously there.

    President’s cabinet.

    The president needs a cabinet official responsible for disability issues and advising the president. This office and agency is the Secretary of Disability Affairs.

    International affairs.

    The United States Senate will ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. This should have been done in 2012 when it came before the Senate. No excuses.
    The United States must protect disabled people who travel. The USA will provide funding for a global database of protective orders for people who suffered domestic violence. Disabled people are more subject to domestic violence due to their circumstances.
    The United States will work with other countries to ensure that disability rights are recognized in every treaty and agreement to which the USA is a party.

  14. Kyle Foster

    Jill, I don’t know the legal part of it. I just know all disabilities should be equal under the law. Yes, overweight people can be considered disabled. Basically if it hinders daily living activities you are considered as having a disability.

    Yes he or she can sue you if they feel that way but it doesn’t mean their case will win. Like I said I’m not that familiar with disability law at the current moment. The best person to tell you about disability law is Andrew Straw, the founder of the Disability Party.

  15. Andrew Straw

    In my practice, I like to have evidence before I will even take a case. If a person has no evidence, why would the other side even consider settling? While it is true that sometimes a defendant will settle just to rid themselves of the hassle and the attorney fees it costs to get to dismissal, that is not always true.

    If an attorney pursues a meritless case, with no evidence that seems brought in bad faith, the court can impose sanctions. Fed. R. Civ Proc. 11. It is not good for an attorney to get a reputation of doing that.

    So there different ways to look at it.

  16. JD

    Kyle, with all due respect, I have serious issues with some of your parties platform. I appreciate the fact that you are disabled and I am impressed that you are able to do what you have so far but you aren’t offering real solutions. What you have is more division. ADA should not apply to everyone and everything, we don’t need more jobs programs, you should’t receive automatic ballot acces while others don’t, and we don’t need another do nothing cabinet position and department.

    ADA has done great things to improve access for the disable. I have seen the changes personally. When I was in the sports industry it was obvious what venues were ADA compliant and which ones weren’t. Of course it has forced many cities to shell out hundreds of millions of dollars to tear down functioning facilities just so they could be ADA compliant but I can handle that. But there should be no more penalties for what you call “private discrimination”. The federal government and state governments break the law everytime they tell a business they have to serve someone whether they want to or not. If it is a person’s private property, a sole proprietorship the government needs to stay off.

    Every federal jobs program has been a failure and eventually reduced tojust another bureaucracy.

    We all disagree with the federal and state ballot access procedures. There is descrimination but towards all minor parties. I for one don’t believe you can just let everyone in the debates or on the ballot though. You either have to get rid of the ballot or create a relatively low but still obvious threshold. For instance 5,000 sigs or $5000. Otherwise we would have people in every state getting on the ballot just cause they could and it would have 1,000 names on it.

    While most people, even the left, are beginning to realize we have to reduce needless expendatures, you actually want a special department just for the disabled. How many billions do you want? Of course if we do one for the disabled then we need them for each of the negro and latino races individually. We might as well go ahead and make one for women and mothers as well. So much like title 9, when a school considersadding a sport, you are not talking about adding one of something but many of it.

    I don’t disagree with your healthcare position. The system is morally, ethically, and logistically wrong in this country. The free at point of service system don’t have it right either though. Study up on the healthcare system in the Republic of Ireland and see what you think.

    I am sure you feel that I don’t understand or that I am just another neanderthal disrespecting you because of your disability. I am not. I am treating you as an adult and an equal. Everyone deserves to be treated equal. Any legislation made to bring favor or dis-favor on any person or group of persons is discriminatory. ADA, DOMA, Affirmative Action, the violence against women act, are all discriminatory and patently un-american to a greater or lesser degree. Please understand, you are my equal, and I expect you to act and conduct yourself as such.

    I wish you success and happiness in your endeavors. BTW, our local semi-pro football team has an assistant coach that is disabled. You might like to check out the Evansville Enforcers website and contact him. He is inspiring.

  17. JD

    Just to clarify, I support the Irish healthcare system. It is universal but requires those that use the system to pay for its use. There is a co-pay required at each visit which eliminates all of the problems associated with free at point of care programs and our EMTALA system.

  18. Andrew Straw

    There seems to be some confusion about the ballot access petitions. Disability rights make it necessary to put this system online, but nowhere do we state that it is only available to disabled candidates.

    One of the advantages of increasing access is that it improves the system for everyone. We don’t have a position on reducing signatures, but there is such variation among the states, it starts changing the rules in the Constitution. One should not add or detract from the very specific requirements there. Anyone who takes an oath of office or public trust agrees to defend that document and its rules.

    “No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.”
    — U.S. Constitution, Article I, section 2, clause 2

    You may think someone should be a millionaire to be eligible, or need the support of 25,000 people in the form of a petition signatures requirement, but at what point do you start agreeing that you have changed the rules?

    $5000 and 5000 signatures was not something required at the beginning. In Indiana at the beginning, there were no petitions and no fees to run. In fact, few people wanted to run given the responsibilities.

    This idea that 1,000 people will show up on the ballot must have confronted the Founders, and they didn’t care. The rules are the rules.

    Another reason we have the rules is for uniformity. In one state the rule could be 20,000 signatures, another nothing but a small fee.

    The Disability Party is not the Democratic Party, or the Republican Party, or the Green Party, or the Libertarian Party. It is not even the McGillicuddy Serious Party.

    It is the Disability Party, and any votes we get are earned by our platform and our values. There is no splitting anything.

    Since so many people do not vote now, I suspect when there is a genuine alternative that people not now voting will vote for us.

    Andrew Straw

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