Including Voters with Disabilities in Your Campaign
We highly encourage candidates and their staff to support campaign accessibility. Even simple modifications will help to maximize the number of voters that are reached.
For example, if a campaign video is posted on YouTube, subtitles can be added for free by a volunteer or staff person. Subtitles benefit not only voters who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, but also voters who may be watching your video on mute in public spaces.
Disability representation also makes a positive statement and is easy to implement. If you use pictures of voters in your campaign materials, you could include a photo of a voter with a disability. As part of campaign speeches and presentations, you could highlight support for disability rights issues as part of your campaign message.
Tip: Designate a staff person or small team who is in charge of coordinating accessibility. Having a point person for accessibility will make it easier to keep track of what has already been done, identify what could be done, and answer questions from the public about accessibility.
Here are more resources on how to facilitate inclusion and accessibility:
Overall Campaign Accessibility:
This booklet from the Alaska Protection and Advocacy System covers captioning, public events, communications, websites, staff training, and inclusion in your campaign.
The Disability Action Center NW has a short booklet on accessibility and communication etiquette.
Trade magazine Campaigns & Elections dives into opportunities to engage the disability voting bloc and basic steps to take.
Interacting with Voters who have Disabilities:
This booklet from United Spinal reviews some basic tips on meeting and socializing with voters who have disabilities.
Hosting Campaign Events:
Alice Wong, founder of the Disability Visibility Project and #CripTheVote, interviewed two disability rights advocates about their experiences with campaign events and their recommendations for accessibility.
As you use social media to reach voters, be sure to implement accessibility best practices so that people with hearing, vision, or reading disabilities can get your message.
Adding captions on Youtube is easy, whether from a typed transcript, or manually transcribing from the video.