Individuals with Disabilities to Candidates Make Your Campaigns Accessible / Public Information Service
Political campaigns often do not make their events and literature accessible to all people with disabilities. (Reneshia / Adobe Stock)
By Andrea Sears – Producer, Contact
April 30, 2021
NEW YORK – Political campaigns need to make reasonable accommodation for people with disabilities. That is the message to candidates for elected office in New York City.
More than a dozen organizations have signed a letter to city office candidates asking them to provide sign language interpreters while speaking, hold campaign events in accessible spaces, and provide other accommodations where everyone can fully participate in all aspects of the community Elections.
Susan Dooha, executive director of the Center for Disability Independence in New York, pointed out that this is required by the Disability Act and the city’s human rights law, but these laws are often ignored.
“People need to be able to go along with whatever their disability is,” said Dooha. “And that’s democracy in action.”
She said candidates must commit to making their campaign events, literature and websites accessible both now and after taking office.
One in six American voters has a disability, according to the National Council on Independent Living.
Dooha reminded candidates that ensuring access to electoral politics is fundamental to ensuring equality for people with disabilities – and these are people who vote.
“We will review which candidates are committed to ensuring that everyone, including people with disabilities, can be part of the electoral process,” said Dooha.
The letter also calls on candidates to support initiatives that improve access for people with disabilities to urban services and civic life.
Dooha said lack of accessibility isn’t limited to New York City. She said reasonable accommodation is essential at campaign offices and events across the state.
“Every city election, every city election, every county election should follow a guide that will help them make their events accessible to all,” Dooha said.
The National Council for Independent Living has put together a guide for campaign workers to explain the barriers to accessibility and how they can be overcome.
Disclosure: The New York Center for Disability Independence contributes to our Disability Reporting Fund. If you would like to support news in the public interest, click here. Quote: An open letter to candidates for offices in New York asking them to make reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities. Quote: & amp; “Including People With Disabilities in Your Political Campaign: A Guide for Campaigners &” from the National Council for Independent Living.
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