With all the primaries starting I thought I would take a minute and talk about why taking action is important. People with disabilities are often overlooked since we are in the minority, so we need to work harder to make our voices heard. This is why it is important to pay attention to the presidential race and to vote.
If you think about it not that long ago people with disabilities were hidden away. This could have been either in an institution or at home. There are still places in the world that people with disabilities do not have all the freedoms and respect that we have in the United States. Now I will be the first to tell you that I am not up on everything all the candidates are saying, but I do pay attention to what is being said in the news. When it comes closer to time for me to vote I will cast my vote. Pennsylvania has a closed primary, for those who do not know what this means, we can only vote within our party. If you are an independent you do not get to vote.
So you ask how do I vote? From what I know, and speaking from a blind perspective, There are two options. First you may be able to get an absentee ballot. This means you get the ballot in the mail and you fill it out and mail it back in by the deadline. If you have trouble getting out of the house this could be a good option. The one drawback to this that I see is that if you are blind you will need someone to help you fill out the ballot so your vote will not be private.
The second option is go to your voting place and use their machine that is designed for people with disabilities. If this will be your first time using the voting locating you may want to call ahead to assure they have an accessible machine for you to use. If you do this, you may want to bring your own headphones. The headphones where I vote are always bent and uncomfortable. There is also the part you do not know who else has worn the headphones. If your voting place does not have an accessible voting booth they will allow you to have someone help you. I have done this two ways, my mom actually went into the booth with me and pulled the levers. Then after I moved my sister helped me by filling out a paper ballot. The important thing is that you ask.
We have many rights in this country and along with the rights come responsibilities. So please find out who in your area supports the issues you support and disability issues. To quote a cheer from high school "Action, Action, we want action. ACT ION. Action, we want action" I still do not know who I support, but I promise you that I will vote. Because I believe that if you don’t vote you shouldn’t complain. I also believe that one person can make a difference. Let’s get the disability voice loud enough for everyone to hear!