Re: More: Re: Fw: Python help needed immediately -- simple Electronic Ballot Printer

From: Barbara Simons <simons_at_acm_dot_org>
Date: Fri Jan 11 2008 - 14:27:49 CST

Hi, Dick. You should definitely check what I'm about to say with Noel,
who is blind, but my understanding is that relatively few blind people
read Braille, now that computers can read texts for them. (I believe
that Noel does read Braille). I just wonder if a Braille interface is
needed. But this is not my area of expertise. You should vet this with
Noel.
Barbara

Richard C. Johnson wrote:
> Barbara,
>
> Thanks for mentioning Noel Runyan. I have not spoken with him, and I
> will follow up in the hope of gaining some further insights from him.
>
> The sip/puff devices cost very little...a couple of hundred
> dollars...and they substitute for the mouse in our design. A desire
> to write in a candidate is handled by putting a keyboard on the screen
> at the proper time...the mouse or the sip/puff device does the trick.
>
> The greater expense, several thousand dollars, is for the Braille
> interface. My thought here is that such devices must be in use in
> libraries and in other settings; there is some possibility that such
> devices might be shared between election and other uses. Even so,
> with as much as $2,000 added into the price of our standard unit, the
> cost comes to much less than current devices not even having Braille
> capability.
>
> Thanks for your comments!
>
> Best wishes,
>
> -- Dick
>
> */Barbara Simons <simons@acm.org>/* wrote:
>
> I should have added that I imagine you are also planning to provide a
> sip/puff option for people with severe mobility impairment. Of course
> there are a variety of other technologies and issues for people with
> disabilities. As you probably know, Noel Runyan, who co-authored the
> California TTB accessibility analysis, has enormous expertise in
> this area.
> Regards,
> Barbara
>
> Richard C. Johnson wrote:
> > Barbara,
> >
> > Enhanced Access means that any person should be able to use the
> > device. I agree with you that there is a continuous spectrum of
> > different abilities (not necessarily DIS-abilities) that may or may
> > not map to the available means to access the voting process. The
> > consensus is that the provision of hand marked ballots in a
> precinct
> > scan system works best for most, but not all, people.
> >
> > Some of the people for whom paper ballots are not suitable would
> > prefer an audio interaction capability (VoiceVoting), while others
> > would want a touch-responsive or tactile means of access. People
> who
> > neither hear nor see might prefer a Braille access device. We
> should
> > not question why people want specific access; it is enough that
> they
> > do want a variety of means. It is up to us to then produce a system
> > with alternative means for different people who make up the
> voting public.
> >
> > All of the above features are planned for OpenScan as part of its
> > standard offering, with different peripheral devices used for
> > different preferences and different access methods. VoiceVoting
> > requires a headset (earphones + mic) and Braille requires an
> interface
> > which substitutes for the monitor, mouse, and keyboard. Each
> means of
> > access will result in a paper ballot which can be scanned; in each
> > case, the scanned ballot can be fed back to the voter so that the
> > voter may approve what is on the paper ballot.
> >
> > No matter what the access, the means of voting through a marked
> paper
> > ballot are the same. The scanning is the same, and only the I/O
> > access differs.
> >
> > We at Open Voting Solutions believe that the incorporation of
> enhanced
> > access into the standard voting system is the best means of serving
> > the needs of all Americans for access and equal accommodation.
> We are
> > focused on what people who vote want and need, on their access
> > preferences, not on the machine requirements so much as the
> > requirements people have for access to voting.
> >
> > -- Dick
> >
> > */Barbara Simons /* wrote:
> >
> > With all due respect, there are far more types of disabilities than
> > visual and manual. For example, someone who is both deaf and blind
> > could not vote independently on either a DRE or the electronic
> ballot
> > marking systems such as the AutoMark. The only type of system
> > currently
> > available that would work for such an individual is some form of
> > tactile
> > ballot.
> >
> > There also are, for example, people with learning disabilities
> or who
> > have difficult processing certain kinds of input. Such people may
> > have
> > neither a visual nor a manual disability, but they still have a
> > disability that could impact their ability to vote.
> >
> > Regards,
> > Barbara
> >
> > P.S. HAVA says that voting systems shall:
> >
> > > be accessible for individuals with disabilities, including
> > nonvisual
> > > accessibility for the blind and visually impaired, in a manner
> that
> > > provides the same opportunity for access and participation
> > (including
> > > privacy and independence) as for other voters;
> >
> > It does not say that the voting systems should be accessible
> only for
> > people with visual or manual disabilities.
> >
> > My view is that the HAVA requirement is unattainable by any single
> > voting system, though it might be workable if a variety of systems
> > were
> > used. There are also issues of cost that I think should have been
> > considered in the writing of HAVA, but weren't.
> >
> > Danny Swarzman wrote:
> > > Barbara,
> > >
> > > It's not disabilities generally. Just some for which voting
> systems
> > > make accommodations.
> > >
> > > "Enhanced access" has been used for special components
> designed for
> > > those accommodations. Doesn't flow off the tip of the tongue, but
> > > what can you do?
> > >
> > > There are really only two types of disabilities: visual and
> manual.
> > > The accommodation usually mentioned is a machine that prints paper
> > > ballots.
> > >
> > > Visually impaired voters enter their choices through audio prompts
> > > with voters pressing buttons. Voters with some other
> > disabilities can
> > > use one of several available pointing devices..
> > >
> > > This is one area where it's important to be specific as well as
> > > inoffensive. In a discussion in San Francisco, a politician
> sitting
> > > in a wheelchair gave an impassioned speech about voters with
> > > disabilities. She made no connection between the plight of
> disabled
> > > voters and the decision that was before the board but it sounded
> > like
> > > she did.
> > >
> > > -Danny
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > On Jan 9, 2008, at 12:50 PM, Barbara Simons wrote:
> > >
> > >
> > >> Hi, Asheesh. Actually, there are far more disabilities than
> simply
> > >> vision and hearing problems. For example, ballot marking
> > devices are
> > >> being attacked by some DRE supporters on the grounds that
> > people with
> > >> severe mobility impairment are unable to handle the paper
> > ballot after
> > >> it is printer or marked. Many elderly people have some kinds of
> > >> disabilities, independent of how they might actually view
> > themselves.
> > >> For example, not only do vision and hearing tend to deteriorate
> > with
> > >> age, but - something that election officials frequently don't
> think
> > >> about - many elderly voters have difficulty standing for a long
> > >> time in
> > >> line waiting to vote. Something as simple as providing chairs at
> > >> polling places would help a lot, but of course that's not
> > especially
> > >> relevant to this list. Other types of disabilities involve
> learning
> > >> disorders, mental and emotional problems, etc.
> > >>
> > >> I believe that "able bodied" is the phrase that is used. I have a
> > >> knowledgeable contact in the disability rights movement, and I'll
> > >> check
> > >> to see if that is the best wording. Finally, though the
> > >> distinction is
> > >> subtle, my contact has recommended that I use the phrase "people/
> > >> voters
> > >> with disabilities," rather than "disabled people/voters."
> > >>
> > >> Regards,
> > >> Barbara
> > >>
> > >> Asheesh Laroia wrote:
> > >>
> > >>> On Wed, 9 Jan 2008, Barbara Simons wrote:
> > >>>
> > >>>
> > >>>
> > >>>> Hi, all. I realize that Alan has the best of intentions
> regarding
> > >>>> people with disabilities.
> > >>>>
> > >>>> However, I feel the need to point out that classifying
> people as
> > >>>> either
> > >>>> "disabled" or "normal" will alienate members of the disability
> > >>>> rights
> > >>>> community - who have been fighting for years to avoid being
> > >>>> characterized as "abnormal" - and will make it easier for
> > >>>> anti-technology forces to falsely characterize technologists as
> > >>>> being
> > >>>> indifferent or worse to issues of concern to people with
> > >>>> disabilities.
> > >>>>
> > >>>>
> > >>> Hi Barbara,
> > >>>
> > >>> I'm new to this list. I'm not new to discussing e-voting and
> > >>> promoting
> > >>> sanity in this area.
> > >>>
> > >>> Would it be better to say "The voting system accommodates people
> > >>> with all
> > >>> levels of hearing and seeing" rather than "The voting system
> > >>> accommodates
> > >>> people of normal and abnormal hearing and seeing"?
> > >>>
> > >>> Maybe you can propose precise phrasing that helps us say what we
> > >>> mean in a way that is respectful, or alternately help change
> > our (my)
> > >>> understanding so that we are respectful by default.
> > >>>
> > >>> Thanks!
> > >>>
> > >>> -- Asheesh.
> > >>>
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Received on Fri Jan 11 16:16:33 2008

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