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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- disabili5es. • Eﬀorts, vo5ng, communi5es. – , disabili5es