Re: [OVC-discuss] Privately and independently -- how willOVCdealwiththis?

From: Alan Dechert <dechert_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Sun Jun 28 2009 - 14:18:20 CDT

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jim Tobias" <tobias@inclusive.com>
To: "'Open Voting Consortium discussion list'"
<ovc-discuss@listman.sonic.net>
Sent: Sunday, June 28, 2009 12:07 PM
Subject: Re: [OVC-discuss] Privately and independently -- how
willOVCdealwiththis?

> Thanks for your reply, Alan, but you've convinced me that the analogy is
> even stronger than I had originally indicated.
>
> Disabled people of course can be and are being assisted in their
> transportation by family members and others -- it's part of the hidden
> cost
> of inaccessibility that makes it a market externality like pollution. But
> even more to the point, there was/is paratransit -- a system that is
> designed only for disabled riders, but which both segregates them and
> requires them in most cases to reserve their rides long in advance. For
> both reasons this was/is not acceptable to many advocates, so pressure was
> placed on public transportation authorities to make their mainstream
> services more accessible.
>
> My original point was not about public transportation in general, but
> about
> the need for assistance in using it -- the lifts, wheelchair docking
> methods, etc. I was saying that the "acceptable" level of independence
> had
> to do with the functional result -- being able to get on any bus and go
> whenever they felt like it -- rather than a step-by-step analysis, where
> some of the steps require assistance not offered to or needed by
> non-wheelchair-using riders. That disabled community accepted that
> "compromise" on the notion of "independence".
>
> In our arena, I would hope that we could convince these communities that
> we
> were committed to improving accessibility wherever we could so that people
> with disabilities could go to their polling place and vote, but that there
> might have to be compromises of a similar nature. As I said, in other
> laws
> and regulations, the legal phrases in use all refer to some sort of
> balance
> and proportionality.
>
> ***
> Jim Tobias
> Inclusive Technologies
> +1.908.907.2387 v/sms
> skype jimtobias
>
>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Alan Dechert [mailto:dechert@gmail.com]
>> Sent: Sunday, June 28, 2009 2:34 PM
>> To: Open Voting Consortium discussion list
>> Subject: Re: [OVC-discuss] Privately and independently -- how
>> will OVCdealwiththis?
>>
>> Jim,
>>
>> I wrote,
>>
>> >> Even if a machine would allow them to vote privately and
>> >> independently at the pollsite, they're just not going to use it
>> >> anyway.
>> >> Informal studies show that practically no one uses existing
>> >> accessible voting machines.
>> >
>> Then you responded:
>>
>> > This is exactly what happened with access to public transportation:
>> > at first, there was almost no ridership, mostly due to low
>> awareness
>> > and low expectations on the disability side, and poor training and
>> > maintenance on the public transit side. Over the years, as people
>> > with disabilities began to experience and expect accessible buses,
>> > ridership continues to grow....
>> >
>> You make a lot of good points, but I don't think this
>> particular analogy is valid.
>>
>> Accessible public transportation can enable a person with
>> disabilities to get from point A to point B in a circumstance
>> where they simply have no other means. It's not just a
>> question of being able to travel with independence. A 15-yr
>> old nephew may be able to help Aunt Mathilda mark or read her
>> ballot, but the nephew cannot drive Aunt Mathilda across
>> town, or anywhere else for that matter. Timing and resources
>> are also major considerations with transportation. Aunt
>> Mathilda may need to get to a 1:00 pm doctor's appt across town.
>>
>> In other words, the incentive is much higher to use public
>> transportation if available. The ability to utilize it can
>> have immediate material benefit to the rider. If a voter
>> with disabilities receives satisfactory assistance the her
>> ballot at home, the incentive to go to the poll site is zero.
>>
>> Maybe there isn't much in the way of data, but we need some
>> better data. It is unconscionable that the EAC would be
>> handing out requirements along these lines without doing some
>> research. They should at least conduct some surveys. Maybe
>> we could cause them to do a little more research.
>>
>> Alan
>>
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>
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Received on Tue Jun 30 23:17:17 2009

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