Are you a citizen of the USA, age 18 or older, free of felony convictions? Than it will be easy for you to vote right?
Back in the day, women weren’t allowed to vote and were actively discouraged from doing so until the Womens Suffrage movement finally succeeded. Jim Crow laws made voting for African-Americans a painstaking and sometimes deadly choice. Recently there has been a slew of reports on how unfair voter ID laws have been enacted across the USA for low-income, elderly, college students, and minorities. But wait there’s more!
Add to that list of disenfranchised voters the 1 in 5 Americans with disabilities. They are discouraged from polling places either due to a lack of physical accessibility or discriminatory attitudes that create hardship for those of us who have a disability from participating in this promised right for all citizens.
You can read the National Council on Disability report about this discouraging and unpatriotic trend faced by our family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. I found it on the Disability Scoop news site. In 2012 the Board of Elections in New York lost a lawsuit filed in 2010 when a federal judge ordered them to fix polling obstacles and survey polling sites. The successful lawsuit has given hope to Americans with disabilities, even though there is more progress needed.
It is important for all citizens to have easy access to voting which means we all must speak up and insist on that right. Get involved. Change is up to you!
You can get involved in creating positive change for your neighbors, co-workers, family, and friends with the National Association of Injured & Disabled Workers.
If you are elderly (and or disabled?) check out Senior Corps.
If you are disabled and living in the UK check out the organization Citizens Advice.
Help disabled veterans by volunteering with the organization Paralyzed Veterans of America.
Find opportunities in Georgia by volunteering with Friends of Disabled Adults and Children.
In California you can help with a variety of community issues including voting accessibility by volunteering with the Disability Organizing Network
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