Gubernatorial Candidates Town Hall on Disability & Chronic Conditions

Online Only

Statements made by the candidates during the Town Hall are not endorsed by, and do not reflect the views or opinions of the Institute on Disability at UNH. We encourage you to do your own research into the issues important to you. More information about some of the issues raised can be found below.


Event Recap & Additional Resources

On Tuesday September 20th, Governor Sununu and Senator Sherman delivered their disability policy platforms and visions if elected.* Each candidate was invited to speak on topics from inclusive education, workforce shortage, and housing, to transportation and employment.

The event was broadcast live online from Girls At Work, Inc with members of the disability community in attendance. You can watch a recording of the event below.

Each candidate was asked the same three questions to begin. The candidates offered different opinions regarding legal rights and protections for people who experience disabilities. Some of the statements made by the candidates may not reflect the views or legal opinions of the Institute on Disability at UNH and we encourage you to do your own research into the issues important to you.

Below are the first three questions that both candidates were asked and links to some resources to help you better understand the issues raised:

Question One: People with disabilities want to live fully inclusive lives in their communities.  In order to avoid placement in a nursing home or an institutional setting, in or out of state, people with disabilities need access to home and community based support services.  What is your plan to increase the work force serving the home and community-based system for people with disabilities (i.e. para-professionals, personal care attendants, direct support professionals, nurses)?

Related Resources:

Question Two: Through Education Freedom Accounts, millions of dollars are moving from local public schools into private schools which are not legally bound to follow IDEA [Individuals with Disabilities Education Act] and some are also permitted to deny enrollment to students with disabilities. This type of financial loss places pressure on local school districts who must deliver special education services.  How will you ensure that special education students will receive an equitable and inclusive education in the age of EFA’s diminishing public school budgets?

Related Resources:

Question Three:  In light of the shortage of affordable housing in the state of New Hampshire, especially accessible housing, what in your role as governor will you do to ensure that people with disabilities have access to affordable community-based accessible housing so that people with disabilities are able to live meaningful lives in their communities?  What is the role of state government in this effort?

Related Resources:

*Our Process

Although we would like to engage with every candidate, as of September 1st, 2022, we are focusing our efforts on candidates for Governor who were polling at or over 10% in the Granite State poll conducted by the UNH Survey Center, "Sununu Holds Commanding Lead Over Rivals in GOP Primary for NH Governor 9/1/2022" (2022). 

Granite State Independent Living is New Hampshire’s a statewide nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote quality of life with independence for people with disabilities and seniors through advocacy, information, education, support and transition services. GSIL serves as the designated statewide independent living organization. More information about GSIL

Advocates Building Lasting Equality in NH (ABLE NH) advocates for the civil and human rights of children and adults with disabilities; and promotes full participation by: improving systems of supports, connecting families, inspiring communities, and influencing public policy. Learn more about ABLE NH

Disability Rights Center-NH is New Hampshire’s designated Protection and Advocacy system and is dedicated to eliminating barriers existing in New Hampshire to the full and equal enjoyment of civil and other legal rights by people with disabilities. More information about DRC-NH

The Institute on Disability was established in 1987 to provide a university-based focus for the improvement of knowledge, policies, and practices related to the lives of people with disabilities and their families and is New Hampshire’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service (UCEDD). Located within the University of New Hampshire, the IOD is a federally designated center authorized by the Developmental Disabilities Act. Through innovative and interdisciplinary research, academic, service, and dissemination initiatives, the IOD builds local, state, and national capacities to respond to the needs of individuals with disabilities and their families. More information about the IOD

The New Hampshire Council on Developmental Disabilities is a federally funded agency that supports public policies and initiatives that remove barriers and promote opportunities in all areas of life. The Council is independent of the agencies that provide services to people with disabilities. The Council’s mission is: “Dignity, full rights of citizenship, cultural diversity, equal opportunity, and full participation for all NH citizens with developmental disabilities.” The Council carries out its mission through education, advocacy and the funding of innovative projects that make a difference in people's lives. More information about NHCDD

The Council for Youths with Chronic Conditions (CYCC) is a parent-focused State council committed to being a voice for families of children with chronic health conditions. We educate and inform policymakers and stakeholders of the unique challenges and opportunities to expand access to affordable, quality health care, supportive work environments, and community-based services and to celebrate the resiliency of children and their families. Our guiding principles include ensuring that children and youth with chronic conditions have affordable access to care, supportive home and community environments, and that our families have family supportive work environments.

CSNI is the association of the ten Area Agencies in New Hampshire providing services to individuals with developmental disabilities and acquired brain disorders. We achieve our mission through a variety of activities including advocacy, education, centralized operational supports to improve efficiency of the Area Agency system, and group purchasing. At the heart of what we do is a core belief that the system of supports and services to individuals with developmental disabilities and acquired brain disorders functions best when all of its elements are working together.

The Brain Injury Association of New Hampshire was founded in 1983 by parents of brain injury children and teens, who came together to help one another and work to assure that needed services and support were available to New Hampshire citizens with brain injury and their family members. Today we remain a grassroots organization led by a dedicated teams of parents, caregivers, and professionals. More information about the BIANH

Areas of Emphasis