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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Frank Sesno to Moderate National Forum on Disability Issues

National Forum on Disability Issues LogoFrank 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, is serving as moderator of the National Forum on Disability Issues (NFDI) from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 28, at the Hyatt Regency in Columbus, Ohio.

The non-partisan forum aims to bring together President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and provide them with a platform to present their policy positions on disability issues directly to the disability community. Invitations have also been extended to candidates from both parties for the U.S. Senate from Ohio, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) and Republican nominee Treasurer Josh Mandel. 

“This is the only national event for candidates to present their positions on disability issues,” said Sue Hetrick, director of public policy of the Ability Center of Greater Toledo and coordinator of the Ohio Disability Vote Coalition. “There are more than 57 million people with disabilities in the United States, and one in four veterans returning from service in Iraq and Afghanistan are returning with a disability. The disability community, which is growing and increasing its influence on elections, must know the policy positions of the people who will represent them in Washington.”

Format of the Forum

Each candidate will occupy the stage exclusively for 30-minutes. During that time, he will have 10 minutes to present his vision for the future on disability policy in America and 20 minutes to respond to questions presented by Sesno. Questions for the session are being generated by the disability community prior to the event. Each candidate has the opportunity to address such topics as employment, health care, long-term community-based services and supports, education, transportation, housing, and research.

A maximum capacity crowd of 500 Americans living with disabilities is expected to be confirmed, while thousands more are planned to participate via a live webcast. Individuals interested in registering for the forum or live webcast can do so at

Contact: Joel Kessel

(614) 467-9083 (office); (773) 209-6125 (mobile)

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