Tag Archives: Disabilities

Webinar: Disabled Texans Can Vote Safely and Easily, If You’re Prepared, Advocates Say

(See the links at end of article.) In this election year affected by the pandemic, disabled Texans have a number of easy and safe options to cast their votes: curbside voting, requesting assistants to help, going to front of the line, and emergency late voting where they appoint a representative to take in their registration and return with a ballot, in addition to voting by mail. The options were outlined by Christina Adkins of the Texas Secretary of State’s office in a webinar on Thursday called “Voting Accommodations in Texas – The Laws and the Options!” The panel was moderated by Grace Chimene, President of the League of Women Voters of Texas.

Voting by mail is a hot topic now, and the participants urged turning in their applications as soon as possible. This allows time to work through any kind of follow-ups or difficulties that need to be addressed. Among the ways to qualify are being away from your home county, being sick or disabled, or being incarcerated. Can you claim fears of COVID-19 infection as a reason? If you have a pre-existing condition or are otherwise at-risk, yes.

Jeffery Miller of the Disability Rights Texas said that you are the best judge. If you feel you are disabled, then mark it so on the vote-by-mail application. He recommended trying to keep your signature consistent between documents. If you have questions or problems, contact your county elections office.

Adkins said you must follow up your online application with a signed copy within five days. Also you will eventually receive a receipt after you apply. If the receipt does not come, or if you have any other questions, contact your county elections office.

She said that election sites will have health protections like PPE. She said be sure to wear a mask.

Check your county’s website first. Vote early, they said. Those with questions may contact the Secretary of State’s office or Disabled Rights Texas at the end of this article.

“There is an army of support out there” to help you vote, Adkins said. She said to be prepared: “have a plan” to vote.

This July 13-17 will be National Disability Voter Registration Week, to raise awareness of these issues.

The message emphasized by all three was to be your own advocate, to speak up – ask!

Resources:
Voters with disabilities – https://my.lwv.org/texas/voters-disabilities-0

Disabilities Rights Texas – https://www.disabilityrightstx.org/en/home/
Voting Resources for people with disabilities – https://www.disabilityrightstx.org/en/category/voting/

Texas Secretary of State – votetexas.org
Voters with Special Needs – https://www.votetexas.gov/voters-with-special-needs/
Health Protocols For Texas Election Officials And Voters – https://www.sos.texas.gov/elections/forms/health-protocols-for-voters.pdf
COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Voting and Election Procedures – https://www.sos.texas.gov/elections/laws/advisory2020-14.shtml

League of Women Voters of Texas
How to be a Texas voter! – https://my.lwv.org/texas/how-be-texas-voter
What is on the ballot? – https://my.lwv.org/texas/voting-elections/what-ballot
VOTE411.org

Election Protection
For any concerns or problems voting contact texasvoterprotection.org
Please submit any questions to: info@lwvtexas.org

BLMing From Home

Ways to support

It’s frustrating to watch history from the sidelines. Now is the third time I’ve felt the world shifting off of its moorings: the fall of the Soviet empire in 1989; September 11, 2001; and what’s sweeping the country today. Tiananmen Square felt the same way but turned out horribly. Who knows where we’ll be next week, or next year?

Uncertainty is one thing, but simply watching is what feels terrible. I feel the need to participate and give my support. I don’t spend time bemoaning my fate or anything, but there are certainly times, sitting in this chair, that I feel the times passing me by. I also feel sub-100 degree heat indexes every day here that are smacking me down. With MS, heat is my kryptonite. I can’t even count the summer days when I’ve been all right I’m all right I’m all right I’m i n c a p a c i t a t e d. Not to mention the need to social distance by those who are at-risk.

Fortunately Alice Wong of the Disability Visibility Project steps into the breach.

She put together a list of ways for us to support Black Lives Matter, blacks with disabilities, and the movement on the streets of America. It includes black writers, articles, podcasts, documentaries and other resources to keep plugged into what’s going on.

More support and reading resources are here: https://disabilityvisibilityproject.com/2020/06/06/26-ways-to-be-in-the-struggle-beyond-the-streets-june-2020-update/

Finally, here’s a List of Bail Funds for Protestors across the Country,
updated regularly with help from the National Bail Fund Network.

Challenges reopening assoc. for visually impaired during COVID: “It’s a lifeline.” “They are really integral to our lives.”

bsa

The century-old Blind Service Association provides numerous vital services for the visually impaired in Chicago: medical, counseling, transportation, activities, even reading mail and books. But it remains shut down and there are a lot of questions about when and how it would reopen, according to the Chicago Tribune.

BSA awaits guidance from Illinois Department of Public Health. What will be the new protocols with this at-risk population? For instance, how will those who rely so heavily on the sense of touch navigate the world wearing gloves that keep them safe? Many of those affected cannot web conference, for a number of reasons. Meanwhile those who rely on institutions like BSA are living in uncertainty and loss. They aren’t shrinking violets; their entire lives have been upended. And they wait.

Here’s the nugget, from Alexander Brown, executive director of Friedman Place, an assisted living facility for the visually impaired on the North Side:

But, again, and is often the situation, people with disabilities, people who are blind are not at the table. So, the folks that are making the decisions, just soliciting information feedback, aren’t asking the community of the blind. And that’s a real problem.

Great Film: My Own Wheels

Michael Trimble was born without arms in the wake of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear meltdown. At age 9, he was adopted by Americans. He lives independently, earned a degree, and works fulltime, where he was recently promoted.

Years ago, a gym teacher replaced the handlebars of a bicycle with a straight pipe, and it allowed Trimble to ride. Trimble wanted that again. He went to Michael Brown of Maestro Frameworks in Pittsburgh, who has customized for many unique individuals.

Trimble says “anything can be achieved if you have the will and fight for it.”

Roll film. Roll Trimble.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/inspiration-on-wheels-704319/#ixzz2fkJ3FhvO

Award-winning photographer without arms

Disabilities can be different abilities – the spirit is the same.

50-second video – I can’t embed tumblr:

http://solsticeretouch.tumblr.com/post/19033225950/the-photographer-without-arms-who-says-you-need