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Providing information, education, and training to build knowledge, develop skills, and change attitudes that will lead to increased independence, productivity, self determination, integration and inclusion (IPSII) for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

Second Gubernatorial Candidate Chooses Blind Running Mate
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
July 5, 2006

ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND--They may be from different ends of the political spectrum, but Maryland's Kristen Cox and New York's David Paterson will forever be linked -- as the first blind candidates for lieutenant governor in their states.

Last Thursday, Maryland's Republican Governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. announced that he had chosen Cox, 36, as his running mate.

Currently the Secretary of Maryland's Department of Disabilities, Cox has also worked as assistant director of governmental affairs for the National Federation of the Blind, and in the Bush administration as adviser to the commissioner of the Department of Education's Rehabilitation Services Administration.

"Let's be honest, most politicians don't step up and make disability a key part of their platform," Cox told the Baltimore Sun. "But this governor says, 'You know what? These are people that can contribute, that can get back to the workforce, that can be productive if we give them some support.'"

In January, New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer chose State Senate Minority Leader David A. Paterson to be his running mate in his bid for governor. Paterson, 51, who is legally blind, has been credited with helping Democrats gain seats in the Senate.

Mark Richert, director of public policy for the American Foundation for the Blind, told the Associated Press: "This can only be positive."

"Clearly, just like anybody else who represents an ethnic minority, if we succeed people will say, 'That's great. That's an example of blind people being able to do anything,'" he said.

"Ehrlich picks Cox as running mate" (Baltimore Sun)
"Governor candidates choose running mates who are blind" (Associated Press)
"Spitzer Chooses Blind Senator For Running Mate" January 26, 2006 (Inclusion Daily Express Archives)


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