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Episode 77 Resources: Making Our Elections Accessible: Equal Access for Voters with Disabilities

Original Broadcast: February 5, 2020
Recording and Transcripts Episode 77: Making Our Elections Accessible: Equal Access for Voters with DisabilitiesLink:


Emerging Issues in Voting Rights

Disability and Voting Rights Laws

Accessible Voting Resources

  • Vote for Access: New Video Series Addresses Obstacles Facing Disabled Voters
    Source: South Seattle Emerald<
  • Vote for Access 5-part video series
    (captioned and ASL) addressing the problems with voting for people with disabilities, and some solutions that everyone should know about. Transcripts of these videos are available for download in both English and Spanish.
    Source: Block by Block Creative
  • Accessible Voting Places Webcourse
    An overview of many of the laws covering accessible voting, common barriers to voting, and physical requirements for accessible voting places. Includes effective solutions that can be used to make polling places accessible on voting day. Recommended for election officials and voters.
    Source: Rocky Mountain ADA Center
  • Access to Voting Pocket Guide
    This guide depicts the most common American Sign Language “signs” used in a voting environment. It also provides tips to communicate effectively with voters, including disability etiquette tips and a polling place “quick look” accessibility checklist.
    Source: Rocky Mountain ADA Center
  • Voting Resources for the 2020 Election
    Source: American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)
  • Election Protection Coalition
    The Election Protection Coalition hosts a hotline where voters can call to report problems when voting and receive advice on what to do. The Coalition is a nonpartisan alliance of civil rights and civic organizations committed to protecting the rights of all voters to cast their ballot. The hotline (1-866-OURVOTE or 1-866-687-8683) is an immediate, on-the-spot resource staffed by lawyers, law students and other volunteers trained to resolve voting problems.
    Source: Election Protection Coalition (EPC)
  • REV UP: Register, Educate, Vote, Use your Power
    This campaign aims to increase the political participation of the disability community while also engaging candidates and the media on disability issues. AAPD works with state and national coalitions on effective, non-partisan campaigns to address the concerns of people with disabilities, eliminate barriers to voting, promote accessibility of voting; educate communities about issues and candidates; promote turnout of voters with disabilities across the country; and engage candidates and the media on disability issues.
    Free download available for Toolkit for REV UP.
    Source: American Association for People with Disabilities (AAPD)
    Toolkit Link:
  • VOTE
    A source for election-related information. It provides nonpartisan information on federal, state and local races, with facts and data on candidates and issues. See what’s on your ballot, check your voter registration or register to vote, find your polling place, and much more.
    Source: League of Women Voters Education Fund
  • SignVote Campaign
    SignVote began from a single idea: that deaf voices matter. However, lack of accessible information make it difficult for us to fully participate in civic activities. Our mission became clear, to inform and engage deaf communities throughout the 2020 election by developing and sharing resources in ASL. In a nutshell, we aim to ASLize the election with our communities.
    Source: Communication Service for the Deaf
  • GoVoter Project
    Helps encourage and prepare more people with disabilities to vote, provides distance training on voting to self-advocacy groups, and conducts surveys on the voting process.
    Source: Self Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE)
  • The White House: Elections & Voting
    Source: The White House
  • ADA Anniversary Monthly Themes
    The February 2020 theme is voting access.
    Source: ADA National Network
  • Enhancing Accessibility in U.S. Elections 
    Center For American Progress
    In 2020, voters with disabilities turned out in force in one of the most consequential elections in U.S. history. According to data compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 62 percent of disabled voters cast a ballot in the November 2020 election, compared with just about 56 percent of disabled voters who participated in the 2016 presidential election. 2020’s high turnout is demonstrative of disabled voters’ unwavering resolve to make their voices heard and to fully participate in American democracy.
  • New Laws Let Americans With Disabilities Vote Online. They’ve Also Resurrected The Debate About Voting Access vs. Election Security.
    Since the dawn of the internet, someone has inevitably raised this question every election cycle: Why can’t we vote online? (The question was particularly apt in 2020, when states had to grapple with how to run an election during a pandemic.) And every time, election security experts dutifully answer that there is currently no technological way to guarantee a secure online ballot. Despite that, some Americans are able to vote online — namely, military and overseas voters — and they have been for more than a decade.

Webinar and Podcasts

  • Accessible Polling Facilities and the ADA
    Webinar Air Date: March 17, 2020
    Free, but registration is required.
    This webinar will cover resources available to election officials to evaluate the accessibility of polling locations, specifically the “ADA Checklist for Polling Places” developed by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2016. Topics include training polling place staff and volunteers on key issues related to disability voting rights, disability awareness, and avoiding barriers to voting access, along with real life examples, images and graphics to illustrate the content. The webinar will be captioned and archived.
    Source: ADA Audio Webinar Series
  • Voting with a Visual Impairment (Podcast)
    This podcast talks about options for voting for persons with visual impairments, from registering to vote to casting your ballot. There is an audio download, a transcript, and a list of resources.
    Source: Hadley Presents
  • ADA Live! Monthly Podcasts
    Source: Southeast ADA Center
    This free monthly national podcast by the Southeast ADA Center examines issues dealing with the legal rights and responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Each episode is released for streaming on the first Wednesday of each month. All episodes are archived and include a list of useful resources and a transcript. No registration is required. You can submit questions, explore resources and access the archived shows.

Past ADA Live! Episodes on Voting Rights and Accessibility:


For Answers to Your ADA Questions

Contact the ADA National Network by email, visit the website, or call your regional ADA Center All requests for information are confidential.
Email the ADA National Network
Phone: 1-800-949-4232