Oct._26_-_PPT_Handout

Oct._26_-_PPT_Handout - 10/26/09 Impact of Disabili5es...

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Unformatted text preview: 10/26/09 Impact of Disabili5es Community Week of October 26, 2009 Community: Leisure & Recrea5on •  People with disabili5es are less involved in ac5vi5es outside their homes. –  Ea5ng out and shopping– 40% compared to 59% –  Movies – 22% compared to 48% •  Physical access issues oRen the biggest barrier to recrea5on and leisure ac5vi5es. Community: Leisure & Recrea5on •  Accessing ac5vi5es themselves can require modifying the ac5vity. –  Motorcycle –  Golf –  Hockey •  How could other leisure ac5vi5es that modified? 1 10/26/09 Community: Ci5zenship •  All ci5zens have the right to par5cipate in the governmental process. –  The presence of a disability does not negate this right. Community: Ci5zenship •  Inaccessibility of court facili5es prevents people with disabili5es from accessing the courts as li5gants. •  People with physical and sensory disabili5es have been excluded from jury service. •  People with cogni5ve and emo5onal disabili5es have been prohibited from vo5ng. –  Individuals must be presumed competent. People with Disabili5es and Vo5ng •  People with disabili5es have been •  10% less likely to register to vote. •  20% less likely to vote. •  Compared to non‐disabled voters •  64% of people without disabili5es voted •  57% of people with disabili5es voted •  3.8 million in the 2000 presiden5al elec5on •  14.7 million in the 2008 presiden5al elec5on –  15.9 million African‐American voters –  9.7 million Hispanic voters •  The number of voters with disabili5es is increasing •  Compared to other minority groups hap://specialneeds08.blogspot.com/2009/06/vo5ng‐up‐among‐people‐with.html hap://www.disabilityscoop.com/2009/06/29/disabili5es‐vote/3893/ 2 10/26/09 People with Disabili5es and Vo5ng •  Barriers to vo5ng • Inaccessible polling places • As low as 27% of polling places within a state • Difficulty with vo5ng materials • About one third of vo5ng systems use punch cards • Almost one fiRh use lever systems • Lack of private vo5ng booths • Make‐shiR vo5ng tables • Assistance is not offered privately • Uninformed poll workers People with Disabili5es and Vo5ng •  Examples of discrimina5on –  Said to a deaf voter: “You have to be able to use your voice” to vote. –  Said to a person with CP: “Is that person competent? Look at that signature.” –  A blind woman was refused instruc5on on opera5ng a vo5ng machine. People with Disabili5es and Vo5ng •  2002: The Federal Elec5on Commission said vo5ng systems must be accessible to people with disabili5es. •  Efforts toward accessibility: –  Large print and Braille materials –  Easy to use ballot markers –  “Curbside Vo5ng” –  Assistance while vo5ng. 3 10/26/09 People with Disabili5es and Vo5ng •  Compared to non‐disabled voters Vors in e 2008 Presidenal elecon •  64% of people without disabili5es voted •  57% of people with disabili5es voted •  Compared to other minority groups –  15.9 million African‐American voters –  9.7 million Hispanic voters •  The number of voters with disabili5es is increasing •  3.8 million in the 2000 presiden5al elec5on •  14.7 million in the 2008 presiden5al elec5on hap://specialneeds08.blogspot.com/2009/06/vo5ng‐up‐among‐people‐with.html hap://www.disabilityscoop.com/2009/06/29/disabili5es‐vote/3893/ People with Disabili5es and Vo5ng •  PSA on vo5ng • hap://www.govoter.org/ •  Voices of voters with disabili5es • hap://www.govoter.org/DocumentsTraining/ DocumentsVideo/tabid/73/Default.aspx What about voters with ID? •  People with ID are not automa5cally excluded from vo5ng. •  Concerns for voters with ID include –  Competence requirements –  Photo ID requirements –  Challenges –  Assistance with vo5ng hap://www.bazelon.org/issues/vo5ng/ 4 10/26/09 Concerns about Competence Requirements •  Basic vo5ng requirements include –  US ci5zenship –  Residence in the state where you vote –  Age 18 or over –  No felony convic5ons within a specific 5meframe –  Non‐disabled ci5zens are not required to •  Demonstrate proof of competence •  Provide ra5onale for their vo5ng decisions •  Individuals with ID are held to a higher standard. •  A suggested standard for voter competence is that the person is able to communicate—with or without accommoda5on—a choice to cast a vote. Concerns about Competence Requirements •  States that choose to have competence requirements –  Cannot make the standard so broad that it excludes en5re classes of people (e.g. people under guardianship; individuals with ID) –  Must apply the requirement to all voters. They cannot target specific groups. –  Incompetence generally means an individual is unable to aaend to their own basic needs (e.g. food, clothing, shelter) •  Incompetence must be determined by courts. •  Challenging a voter’s competence can be done under limited circumstances. (Many states do not provide for challenges.) •  Individuals with ID have the right to assistance to vote. They may choose the person who provides assistance. Competence Addressed in State Law •  FiReen states and the District of Columbia have laws preven5ng people under guardianship or determined to be “mentally incompetent” or “mentally incapacitated” from vo5ng. •  Twenty states prevent vo5ng for people determined to lack the capacity specifically to vote. •  Nine states s5ll prevent people with disabili5es— described in the law as “idiots” and “insane persons”—from vo5ng. •  Eleven states don’t have disability‐related vo5ng restric5ons. 5 10/26/09 Concerns about Competence Requirements •  Elec5on officials some5mes impose their own requirements for competence. –  Requiring residents of ins5tu5ons to take tests to prove competence. –  Refusing residents the right to register and vote. •  Examples: –  In New Jersey, separated ballots submiaed by residents in a psychiatric hospital and refused to count them unless the residents could prove their competence. –  In Virginia, psychiatric hospital residents were refused absentee ballots when an elec5on official interpreted “disability” as limited to physical disabili5es. Concerns about Competence Requirements •  Poll workers have refused to let people with ID vote. •  Service providers in residen5al or other facili5es have imposed their own standards of competence on people with ID. –  In Pennsylvania, nursing home staff required residents to answer ques5ons about the vo5ng process, names of candidates, current office holders, and vo5ng procedures even though PA law has no competence requirement. –  In California, a Veterans Affairs nursing home did not allow volunteers to provide informa5on and registra5on assistance to residents sta5ng they were “too demented to vote.” –  In Ohio, a nursing home resident was not allowed to register because his physical disability required him to sign with an “X” rather than a full signature. Concerns about Photo‐Iden5fica5on Laws •  There can be barriers to gesng required photo iden5fica5on. –  Financial burdens can be related to •  Fees required for documenta5on needed to get the item (e.g. birth cer5ficates, etc.) –  Prac5cal problems include •  Being able to get find informa5on about requirements •  Being able to get to appropriate loca5ons 6 10/26/09 Concerns about Voter Challenges •  Some states allow an individual’s right to vote to be challenged. •  Challenges on the basis of disability are not allowed in many states. •  Challenges based upon ques5ons of competence oRen require the “challenger” to have specific knowledge of the “challengee” as well as documenta5on to support the challenge. Concerns about Voter Assistance •  Assistance for those who need help vo5ng is a right. •  The person needing assistance can choose who will provide the help they need. –  Typically, this is a rela5ve, friend, caregiver, or poll worker, but it could be someone else. –  Assistance CANNOT be provided the person’s employer, an agent of the employer, or—in the case of union members—a representa5ve of the union. Concerns about Voter Assistance •  People offering assistance may –  Explain instruc5ons –  Demonstrate how to vote –  Read the ballot and/or explain choices on the ballot –  Accompany the voter in the vo5ng booth •  Vo5ng assistants should –  Be careful to respect the voter’s privacy. –  Confirm with the voter that the ballot being submiaed accurately reflects the voter’s choices. 7 10/26/09 Concerns about Voter Assistance •  Staff in residen5al facili5es should –  Ask residents if they want to register and vote. –  Provide informa5on about voter registra5on and change of address for already‐registered voters. –  Provide assistance obtaining and submisng absentee ballots •  “Motor Voter” provisions require many public agencies to provide registra5on forms, assist clients with disabili5es in comple5ng the forms, and submit the forms to proper officials. Concerns about Voter Assistance •  Concerns about voter fraud related to assisted vo5ng include: –  Votes reflect choices of the assistant rather that the voter. –  Persons with disabili5es could be coerced to cast certain votes. –  Falsified absentee ballots when large numbers of ballots are submiaed for residen5al facili5es. Poli5cal Ac5vism and People with Disabili5es •  People with disabili5es are becoming more poli5cally ac5ve. –  People with all types of disabili5es are more integrated into communi5es. –  Public awareness of disabili5es has increased. •  Studies show a posi5ve correla5on between social ac5vity and poli5cal ac5vity for people with disabili5es. –  People involved in disability‐related support groups are more likely to be involved in poli5cs. •  Establishing a group iden5fy has drawn more people with disabili5es into poli5cal ac5vism. hap://mentalhealth.about.com/library/sci/0901/bldisable901.htm 8 10/26/09 Next Week •  Applica5on Ac5vity 2 9 ...
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