Elections and Disability from a Third Party Point of View

Listen (29 min)

Bored with the election talk?  Here’s a discussion you won’t hear on pop news media outlets or NPR.

Edie Hallberg from the Peace and Freedom Party and Laura Wells from the Green Party join us to talk about disability election issues.

Given the extreme absence of discussion of these issues in the Republican and Democratic election bru-ha-ha, should people with disabilities vote a third party ticket?

Pushing Limits host, Eddie Ytuarte, asks this question and leads us into a thought- provoking discussion.

The program includes Josh Elwood, who lives with a developmental disability, talking about why he votes and how he sees the election.

Laura Wells is a blogger, and a former Green Party candidate for California Governor and State Controller, advocating for a State Bank, reforming Prop 13, and taxing the rich.  She is an organizer with the No corporate Money Campaign, and resides in Oakland.

Edie Hallberg is a disabled senior who is active in the Peace and Freedom Party and the Grey Panthers.

Original Air Date: 4-1-16

Autistic Art Show

2016 Autism Awareness Day Art Opening
Novato’s NH2 salon and gallery.

This year’s focus is on “Discovering and Maximizing Potential.” Children’s artwork will be exhibited and auctioned to benefit local autism school charity, “The Helix School Foundation.”

This family friendly public event is free and open to all. Feel free to invite friends!

Registration is required and space is limited.   Click here for details.


#Crip the Vote

4/9 #CripTheVote Twitter Chat: Voter Accessibility & Disenfranchisement and People with Disabilities

April 9, 2 pm EST; 5 pm PST

Guest Hosts: s.e. smith, Carrie Ann Lucas, and the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network

Generally hosted by Andrew Pulrang, Gregg Beratan, and Alice Wong, #CripTheVote will host a chat this April with guest hosts, s.e. smith, journalist and activist, Carrie Ann Lucas, disability rights lawyer and activist, and the Autistic Self Advocacy Network. 

The chat will cover the following topics:

-Access to voter registration and voting

-Experiences with staff at polling stations

-Voter ID laws (33 states have some sort of Voter ID law)

-Access issues regarding mail-in ballots, long lines at polling places, inability to vote independently and privately

-Voting rights of people living in institutions

-Voting rights of people with intellectual / developmental disabilities and mental illness

-Role of conservatorship and voting rights

-Linguistic and other information needs of voters with disabilities

Questions for the April 9, 2016
#CripTheVote Twitter Chat

Q1 Describe your experiences with registering to vote & accessing/understanding voter info. Easy? Problems?

Q2 Describe your experiences with voting. Easy? Problems?

Q3 What were your experiences like interacting w/ polling staff? Did you have to ask for help or info? Were they responsive?

Q4 What do you think of disabled people voting by absentee ballot for convenience & accessibility reasons?

Q5 Do you feel it is important to cast your vote in your local polling place & being part of your neighborhood? Why?

Q6 Have you ever asked a local political party or community org for help getting to the polls? Have they ever offered?

Q7 Have #VoterID laws impacted you as a voter w/ a disability? How will these laws impact the disability community?

Q8 Describe your experiences w/ political participation such as going to a caucus, rally or convention.

Q9 What are the unique voting barriers that affect people w/ disabilities under conservatorship/guardianship?

Q10 What are the unique voting barriers that affect people w/ disabilities living in institutions/facilities?

Q11 Are there unique voting issues that impact specific groups (ex: people w/ mental illness, I/DD, blind ppl, Deaf ppl)?

Q12 Do you think voters w/ disabilities are suppressed & disenfranchised as a minority group? Why or why not?

Q13 How does voter suppression & disenfranchisement impact disabled people of color? Other diverse people with disabilities?

Q14 What changes would you like to see that can improve access to voting & political participation for PWDs? Think big!

Additional articles and resources

s.e. smith. Trying to Vote While Disabled Sucks. Vice (November 4, 2014). http://www.vice.com/read/trying-to-vote-while-disabled-sucks-127

Self Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE) Voting Project, National Technical Assistance Center for Voting and Cognitive Access http://www.sabeusa.org/govoter/

The ARC I/DD Awareness Toolkit on Voting           http://www.thearc.org/what-we-do/resources/toolkits/dd-awareness

Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law on Voting http://www.bazelon.org/Where-We-Stand/Self-Determination/Voting.aspx

How to Participate

When the chat begins, check out the live-stream: http://twubs.com/CripTheVote or search #CripTheVote on Twitter for the series live tweets.

Follow @AndrewPulrang @DisVisibility @GreggBeratan on Twitter and our guest hosts: @disabilitycubed and @realsesmith and @autselfadvocacy 

Use the hashtags #CripTheVote when you tweet

Check out this explanation of how to participate in a chat by Ruti Regan: https://storify.com/RutiRegan/examplechat

Additional information on voting and people with disabilities:


#CripTheVote Facebook Page:


A note on language and why we use the term ‘crip’


#CripTheVote Disability Issues Survey

It’s not too late! Please participate and tell us what issues and ideas you care about most. Deadline: April 30, 2016.

Click here to complete the online survey. If you are unable to complete the online version of the survey, you can follow this link to a text-only version, or request a Word document by email from apulrang@icloud.com. Using this method, results won’t be anonymous, but we won’t be reporting or discussing individual responses, only aggregate results.


#CripTheVote is a nonpartisan campaign to engage both voters and politicians in a productive discussion about disability issues in the United States, with the hope that Disability takes on greater prominence within the American political landscape.

While #CripTheVote is a nonpartisan project, we understand that many people have already developed preferences for particular candidates. This is great–we only ask that everyone is respectful in their interactions with each other. Our primary focus here is on increasing engagement with disability issues as a part of American politics and on the need for that we are all in agreement!

Please note: we do not represent the entire disability community nor would we ever claim to do so. There are many ways to create social change and engaging in conversation is one approach.

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