Author: Trent Sunahara

People with Disabilities Make Their Voices Heard Over Voting Restrictions

Voter access and voter rights have taken been in the news a lot this year. For people with disabilities, this has been a critical issue for decades.

In Texas, disABILITYsa, a group  dedicated “to educate, advance and engage individuals with disabilities”, is now contending the State’s Senate Bill 7 and the roadblocks it puts up for people with disabilities to have equal access to vote.

The three biggest concerns for the disABILITYsa were the requirement to verify a voter’s disability to get a mail-in ballot, changes to curbside voting and possible criminal charges against caregivers or attendants often needed to assist a voter with disabilities.

To continue reading this story, please visit https://www.ksat.com/news/local/2021/06/25/disability-community-sends-message-to-texas-lawmakers-over-proposed-voting-restrictions/.

In North Carolina, previous legislative efforts have gone to the courts. Recently, North Carolina’s Eastern District Judge Terrence Boyle recently ordered the state’s Board of Elections to make a number of changes which include the preservation of absentee voting for blind and otherwise disabled voters.

The ruling poses new limitations, and possibly more ADA violation, though. For those wanting to cast absentee ballots, voters with disabilities are required to fill out a form and submit it to their local election board before receiving an absentee ballot.

While most voters without vision impairments were able to go about this process privately, visually impaired voters often required assistance, affecting their ability to privately cast a ballot.

To continue reading this story, please visit https://www.thetimesnews.com/story/news/2021/06/25/court-order-ensures-convenience-and-privacy-disabled-voters-blind-terrence-boyle-north-carolina/5333922001/.

Sources:
Court order secures new voting rights for North Carolina’s disabled voters
By Dean-Paul Stephens, Times-News
Published June 25, 2021
https://www.thetimesnews.com/story/news/2021/06/25/court-order-ensures-convenience-and-privacy-disabled-voters-blind-terrence-boyle-north-carolina/5333922001/

Disability community sends message to Texas lawmakers over proposed voting restrictions
By Jessie Degollado, KSAT 12 San Antonio
Published June 24, 2021
https://www.ksat.com/news/local/2021/06/25/disability-community-sends-message-to-texas-lawmakers-over-proposed-voting-restrictions/

 

Accessible Parks Take Priority as Summer Months Approach

New inclusive playground equipment being installed at Landreth Park. Photo by Roger Nomer; published in The Joplin Globe

Photo by Roger Nomer; published in The Joplin Globe

As the summer months approach, upgrading local parks to make them ADA compliant and accessible to children of all ability levels has become a big priority for many municipalities.

Carson City, Nevada, recently made significant ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) improvements to several of its parks. Over the past five years, Carson City’s Schulz Ranch, Ross Gold, Ronald D. Wilson Memorial, and John Mankins parks were inspected, funded and underwent remediation to get the parks into compliance with the ADA.

While 13 of the City’s playgrounds still use wood mulch for fall protection, City staff have inspected the sites and integrated them into a long-term ADA remediation plan.

In the City of Joplin, Missouri, an ADA accessible park is currently being built with features designed for all ability levels.

The new playground at Landreth Park is a first of its kind for the city. When complete, it will feature inclusive play structures, ground games, and access ramps that completely encircle the playground, allowing children of various abilities to access it at any point.

 

Sources:
Carson City parks panel plots course for playground priorities
Jessica Garcia, Nevada Appeal
April 18, 2021
https://www.nevadaappeal.com/news/2021/apr/18/carson-city-parks-panel-plots-course-playground-pr/

New playground first of its kind in Joplin
Debby Woodin, The Joplin Globe
April 17, 2021
https://www.joplinglobe.com/news/local_news/new-playground-first-of-its-kind-in-joplin/article_868a6a68-9e0e-11eb-a0f2-efdb8a542d8f.html#//

DOJ Joins ADA Lawsuit Over Chicago’s Non-Compliant Crosswalks

City of Chicago crosswalk is not ADA compliant.

The Justice Department has joined a lawsuit against the City of Chicago that alleges the City has not made the majority of its crosswalks accessible to people who are blind, deaf-blind, or have low vision.

The DOJ states the City is required to install accessible pedestrian signals that give audio or tactile cues when it’s safe to cross the street in order to meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements. According to the DOJ, the City of Chicago has just 15 of those signals out of 2,700 crosswalks with visual signals.

Continue reading this story at https://news.wttw.com/2021/04/13/justice-department-joins-lawsuit-over-accessibility-chicago-crosswalks.

This story was originally written and produced by Nick Blumberg and WTTW Public Broadcasting.

Disabled People Had An Easier Time Voting In 2020, But Millions Still Had Issues

Two major obstacles disabled people face while voting in person are waiting in lines and accessing voting sites. (File photo from Nov. 8, 1988, Denver, Colorado)

BETTMANN ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES — Two major obstacles disabled people face while voting in person are waiting in lines and accessing voting sites.

Disabled Americans had less trouble voting in the 2020 elections than in prior years, according to research published last week by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.

The EAC report shows that the gap between disabled and nondisabled voters who experienced problems while voting has narrowed significantly. In 2020, 11.4% disabled voters reported having problems versus 6.4% of nondisabled voters. This drop is noteworthy in comparison to a similar report conducted in 2012 that found that 26.1% of disabled voters versus 7.4% of nondisabled voters reported having trouble.

This means one in nine disabled respondents said they had trouble voting in 2020, according to the report.

Continue reading at https://www.huffpost.com/entry/disabled-people-had-easier-time-voting-in-2020-but-millions-still-had-issues-report_n_6034102dc5b67c32961fc93f.

This story was written by Elyse Wanshel and published in The Huffington Post on February 22, 2021.

ADA Suit Over Chicago Shelters Moves Forward

U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois

U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois

The City of Chicago can’t evade a disability-discrimination suit brought by a woman who alleges emergency shelters are not accessible, a federal judge held Wednesday (February 17, 2021). In a written opinion, U.S. District Judge Franklin Valderrama declined to throw out Gloria Carter’s lawsuit accusing the City of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act. The City operates an emergency shelter program for people facing homelessness.

The full story can be read at https://www.chicagolawbulletin.com/suit-over-emergency-shelter-program-gets-ok-20210218.

A copy of the official opinion and order from Judge Valderrama regarding Carter v. City of Chicago can be found at https://law.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/illinois/ilndce/1:2020cv01083/373622/46/.

This story was written by Patricia Manson and published in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.

BlueDAG Android Mobile Application Update

Today, BlueDAG released it’s new Android mobile application. With the update, Android users will see a new interface that offers refined functionality. In addition, the updated application better manages photographs in local storage. Please watch the video for a complete overview of BlueDAG’s Android mobile application update.

Look for BlueDAG Pro in your app store to upgrade from previous versions. Users will have to uninstall previous versions of BlueDAG before installing BlueDAG Pro. Android version 8 or higher is recommended.

BlueDAG Mobile Application Update for Android Users

Today, BlueDAG has moved its Android mobile application update into an early release phase. With the update, Android users will see a new interface that offers refined functionality. In addition, the updated application better manages photographs in local storage. Watch the video for a complete overview of BlueDAG’s Android mobile application update. If you would like to be a part of the early release testing group, please contact us at bluedag.support@bluedag.com.

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