Disability Voting Rights Week
Massachusetts West Region Self Advocacy Celebrates Disability Voting Rights Week
Holyoke, Ma – Disability Voting Rights Week takes place on September 11-15, 2023. Massachusetts West Region Self Advocacy will host both a Virtual Education Event and In Person Voter Registration Drive to make sure disabled voters in our community are registered and ready to vote. The Virtual Voter Registration will take place on Wednesday, Sept 13th at 5:30pm -7pm. For participation, please contact Heather Hodnicki, Self Advocacy Regional Coordinator at HHodnicki@wmtcinfo.org. The In-person Voter Registration takes place on Thursday, Sept 14th at 12:30pm-4pm at the Holyoke Mall.
Disability Voting Rights Week (DVRW) is a national, nonpartisan initiative to build the power and presence of the disability vote. This initiative is led by the American Association of People with Disabilities’ (AAPD) REV UP Voting Campaign. There are an estimated 38 million Americans with disabilities who are eligible to vote. Nationally, people with disabilities voted at a 3.6% lower rate than nondisabled voters in the 2022 midterm elections. Additionally, one in seven voters with disabilities reported difficulty voting. In Massachusetts, the turnout gap between disabled and nondisabled voters is 3%. Inaccessible polling places, and a lack of accessible information from campaigns and around voting processes are key challenges.
People with disabilities create a significant voting group with the power to influence policy. It is time for fully accessible elections and elected officials that engage with the disability community. “We invite the Holyoke community to join us in building the power of our vote during Disability Voting Rights Week. This event is not exclusive to the Disability Community, all are invited to participate”, says Self Advocacy Peer Coordinator, Amber Pettell.
The West Region Self Advocacy, (a program of the Consortium) is a network for local self-advocacy groups in Western Massachusetts to work together to “promote education, equal rights, responsibility and informed choice for people with disabilities to live full lives in the community”.
The Western Massachusetts Training Consortium is a 501c3 non-profit that creates conditions for peer-driven leadership to achieve its mission in which people who have faced marginalization, oppression, or otherwise felt invisible are better able to pursue their dreams and strengthen communities through voice, choice, and inclusion. This is supported by an organizational commitment to address systems of oppression and work toward undoing the harm they have caused. To learn more about our programs and communities, visit https://wmtcinfo.org/communities/.