Tip #1: Making all information and instructions accessible
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Introduction

Voters who have access needs play a large part in Presidential elections.  You can assume that approximately 20% of those participating in elections will have some kind of access need. According to the US census, the most frequent types of disabilities are:

Difficulty standing 10.4%
Difficulty walking 9.8%
Cognitive difficulties 7.0%
Difficulty seeing 3.4%
Difficulty hearing 3.4%
Difficulty with speech 1.1%

In addition to people with disabilities or age-related difficulties, many others also have access needs, including people who do not read well and people with limited English.

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Providing accessible information is one way of meeting access needs
  • Prepare all voting instructions to be accessible to as many voters as possible, including instructions for “accessible machines”.
  • Work with state and local assistive technology groups or accessible materials producers to provide voting information, voting instructions, and equipment instructions in formats that can be easily used by people with disabilities. Look for alternative formats such as large print, audio tools, graphics, and video interpretations. NOTE: Many PDF files are not accessible to the screen readers often used by blind voters. Be sure that on-line documents can be read by screen readers and that websites can be navigated without using a mouse.
  • For those with intellectual disabilities, information processing difficulties, or limited English, provide good graphics and easily understood language. Meet with educators and/or disability advocacy organizations to assure that voting information and equipment instructions can be clearly understood. NOTE: Because these difficulties affect a significant portion of the population, developing instructions and information at approximately a sixth grade reading level is recommended.
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Useful References

You can find all of these references on our website under “Tips for 2012”:

http://www.accessiblevoting.org/library/tips for 2012#resources

Additional references on each topic can be found under “More Tips for 2012” on the same page.

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