October 28, 2020

Resources for voters with disabilities

icon of the White House

The U.S. Presidential election will be held on November 3, 2020. While many people have had the opportunity to vote early or by mail or absentee ballots, some may be waiting to vote in person on Election Day.

Here are some resources for voters with disabilities to help learn about and navigate voting, advocacy, and other public policy issues.


AUCD public policy resources

AUCD- Association of University Centers on Disabilities

The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) is a national disability organization that has direct impact at the local, state, national, and international levels to advance policy and practice. On the Public Policy page on the AUCD website, you can find:

icon of hand putting ballot into box
  • Ways to connect with AUCD policy activities, including Tuesdays with Liz, a weekly video series hosted by Liz Weintraub that highlights current issues in disability policy
  • Information about different AUCD policy initiatives
  • Handouts that explain processes including:
    • Voting and voting by mail
    • Public comment and regulations
    • The impeachment process
    • Plain language explainers of the Presidential election process and the Supreme Court confirmation
    • And more
  • Information about how to build relationships with members of Congress

Voting resources

icon of person putting ballot into box. speech bubble with check mark in it coming from their head.
  • American Association of People with Disabilities Voter Resource Center– REV UP Campaign
    • A large and comprehensive list of resources to help you register to vote, learn about the issues, and organize the disability vote. The REV UP Campaign aims to increase the political power of the disability community while also engaging candidates and the media on disability issues. REV UP stands for Register! Educate! Vote! Use your Power!

  • Easterseals- People with Disabilities: Use Our Checklist to Make Sure Your Voice is Heard at the Polls
    • This site explains your rights as a voter with a disability, who to contact if your rights are being violated, links to state deadlines to register to vote and how to find your polling place and other local election information, and resources specific to those with different impairments, including: Deaf and hard of hearing, blind and low vision, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and mobility impairments. There is also a voting resource card you can download to take with you to the polls. The card has contact information in case you have trouble accessing the polls

  • Disability Voter Guide by The Arc
    • This 20 page guide was developed for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It explains what voting is, who can vote, how to register and find your polling place, how you can learn about candidates and other issues to vote on, what to do if your voting rights are denied, and other important information

  • Nonprofit Vote has a state-by-state list of links to information for voters with disabilities

  • USA.gov- Voting and Election Laws
    • Information about voting rights laws, Constitutional amendments, voter accessibility laws, voter fraud, voter suppression, and more

  • U.S. Election Assistance Commission Resources for Voters with Disabilities
    • A list of government and other resources to help empower voters with disabilities, ADA polling place information, Government Accountability Office reports, and other useful resources

Advocacy Resources

Voting is only part of how citizens can influence the issues affecting people with disabilities. Advocacy has been an important part of the Independent Living and Disability Rights movements from the beginning.

Two pictures: one is of the Advocacy Skill Building Toolkit Facilitator Guide cover, the other of a young man speaking into a microphone at a workshop as two facilitators look on.
Left: Cover of the Advocacy Skill Building Toolkit facilitator guide. Download available below. Right: Photo from Healthy Community Living, http://healthycommunityliving.com.

Individuals with disabilities are the best experts on their wants and needs, and have the right to make their own choices to fulfill those needs. If they are unable to fulfill a want or need, advocacy is the answer. An important part of advocacy, no matter if the goal is to help one person or many, is establishing a confident voice, developed and supported in a community of peer support.

There are many ways to help people with disabilities develop advocacy skills, and one of those is RTC:Rural’s Advocacy Skill Building Toolkit. The Toolkit is a collaboration between BASE, an affiliate of Summit Independent Living in Missoula, MT, the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL), and RTC:Rural staff, and was developed in response to the needs and interests of CILs and other stakeholders.

The Toolkit is available free of charge on the Rural Disability Resource Library website:

Advocacy Skill Building Toolkit

The toolkit materials, facilitated in a workshop format, give participants the opportunity to explore their voices, build confidence, and display their skills both verbally as well as in written form. The intent is to provide a safe space among peers and trusted facilitators to introduce the concept of both group- and self-advocacy.

The Toolkit includes a facilitator guide, worksheets, and PowerPoint slides to guide facilitators through conducting the workshop. The workshop is designed to be conducted as three 2-hour sessions or modified for different lengths of time as needed.

The Advocacy Toolkit also includes the following How-To Guides, which can be used as stand-alone resources to help individuals and groups advocate in their communities.

How-To Guides:

There are also examples of persuasive writing and personal testimony. Other advocacy-related resources are listed in Appendix C of the Advocacy Skill Building Toolkit Facilitator Guide.

A group of people, some with visible disabilities, perform the Name Sympnhony improv activity, part of the Advocacy Skill Building Toolkit.