Registering, Voting, and Having a Voice

Officially, National Disability Voter Registration Week was September 13-20. Did you miss it? Are you too late to teach your students with disabilities about their voting rights? Absolutely not! This is one of those “off” years in Indiana. That means there aren’t any scheduled elections in most of the state, so voter registration is open throughout 2021. If you have students turning 18, though, be sure to teach them now how to register and about the voting process.

For information about voting rights, check out Indiana’s Voter Registration webpage. Another suggestion: Via Zoom, have your County Clerk or Election Board Supervisor talk to students or demonstrate a polling place or how to vote by mail.

Often, parents and adult family members assume that individuals who are under guardianship are not allowed to vote. Please assure them that this isn’t true! The Autistic Self-Advocacy Network (ASAN) published Your Vote Counts, a state-by-state guide on the topic in 2019. You’ll find Indiana on p. 143.

Having a voice, and making it heard is as important as voting. Connect students with groups talking about issues they’re passionate about—ecology, voting rights, schools, civil rights, immigration. If you have students who want to learn more about issues affecting the disability community, have them check out The Arc national webpage on policy and advocacy.

Reminder: Join us tomorrow, October 6, for “Parent Perspectives: Inclusion for Young Adults.” This one-hour webinar, part of our Transition Talks at High Noon, features a chat with Anne Higley, one of our co-workers from the Center on Community Living and Careers, and the parent of two adults with autism. To connect at noon, find the Zoom link on the INSTRC Transition IEP training page and scroll down to Transition Talk at High Noon.