Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Voting Becoming Easier for People with Disabilities. (Legislative Update)

Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Voting Becoming Easier for People with Disabilities. (Legislative Update)

Article excerpt

Recalling last November's election ballot controversy, Paul W. Schroeder, a spokesperson for the American Foundation for the Blind, puts the whole voting process in perspective. "The rest of the nation finally experienced what blind people have been experiencing all along: you never know if your vote actually counted."

Many groups representing people with disabilities are now beginning to demand that any modifications made to voting machines be accompanied by improvements in accessibility. Bills that would award federal money to states to help upgrade their voting equipment are already flowing into Congress, many with the provision that the new equipment be accessible to all people, regardless of the type of disability.

One of the newest machines on the market is one that provides a voter with a computerized card on which his or her specific disability can be programmed. The machine, in turn, can then adapt to that disability. For example, in order to allow a person with visual impairments to cast a vote in privacy, he or she can use a set of headphones to hear a computerized voice list the candidates and other ballot options. …

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