September 20, 2016

CLEVELAND—The ACLU of Ohio is pleased to announce the launch of a voter webpage for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. This new voting resource helps Deaf voters find answers to the most common voting questions, including registration, appropriate forms of identification, and where and how to cast a ballot in November’s general election.

Go to the ACLU Deaf Voting Rights webpage.

“Educating Deaf voters on their rights is imperative, as the voting process is geared towards hearing people and could easily exclude the Deaf community,” said Mike Brickner, senior policy advisor for the ACLU of Ohio. “Our webpage features four videos that discuss the importance of voting and provide clear instructions about how to navigate through the process. We hope that it will be utilized and shared with Deaf voters throughout the state of Ohio.”

Deaf voters face unique language barriers that are not felt by their hearing counterparts. Accessing voting information can be difficult if those resources are not formatted for easy  sharing  across social media platforms, which younger Deaf voters are more frequently using. The videos on the ACLU of Ohio’s Deaf voting rights page, which are captioned and feature a Deaf speaker using ASL, help voters of any background understand how to navigate the registration and voting processes.

Voters can also learn how to request accommodations from their local board of elections, including interpreting services. “Having appropriate accommodations for a deaf or hard of hearing person can be challenging, particularly if they have questions about the ballot or filling out a provisional ballot,” Brickner added. “If Deaf voters know they can ask for help and that it will be provided, it will make it easier for them to vote and be a part of our democracy.”