SABE: National Technical Assistance Center

    Contact:

    Hannah Bowen    503-725-9609     bowenh@pdx.edu

    Related Links:

    www.govoter.org

    The National VOTE Team, a partnership of the National Center for Self-Determination and 21 st Century Leadership at Portland State University, Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered, the RRTC on Aging with Developmental Disabilities at the University of Illinois, Arizona Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities, Oklahoma People First, and TheArcLink Incorporated, has established the National Technical Assistance Center for Voting and Cognitive Access. Managed and operated by self-advocacy leaders, the purpose of the Center is to assist protection and advocacy systems and elections officials to ensure voting access for citizens with cognitive disabilities. Key Center activities include:

    •  Training for protection and advocacy systems and elections officials to promote cognitive accessibility in the electoral process, including voter registration, casting a ballot, and polling place accommodations.

    •  Development of guidelines, booklets and other material on making voting materials cognitively accessible, cognitive accommodations at the polling place, including attitudes, support and voting systems, guardianship and voting, and building coalitions that can work together to address cognitive barriers to voting.

    •  Technical support for protection and advocacy agencies through the GoVoter.org website, which provides information, training, downloadable tools, success stories and answers to questions; and quarterly topical teleconferences.

    •  Ongoing coordination with the technical assistance activities conducted by NDRN and other organizations providing technical assistance to enhance voting access.

    •  The National Technical Assistance Center on Voting and Cognitive Access addresses a serious gap that currently exists in the attention to cognitive accessibility within HAVA implementation. The Policy Committee of Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered serves as the management team for the Project.

    MY VOTE

    They say I can't vote.

    They say the decision is not mine.

    They say I don't understand.

    I guess they think they're being kind.

    I wonder what they would say or think if they only knew

    that when they call the President “Our President”,

    I want to call him mine too.

    If I never get the chance to vote-pulling the lever, punching the card or writing his name down.

    I stay the same - dumb, misinformed, unchanged, unempowered.

    That is what this world expects me to be.

    But I want so much more!!!

    I want to be the most educated – the most informed –

    the most totally changed – the most totally empowered person I can be when I vote.

    I can make a difference and then I can say with pride,

    “Not yours, not theirs, but my president.

    Because I helped put him there.” 

    Jeffery Ridgeway