Ensuring Accessibility of Polling Stations

Updated: July 2019
A screenshot from a video with an image of a man using a wheelchair. On the bottom left side of the screen is an insert with a sign language interpreter and the words "Today, he is on his way to a polling station" appear beside it.

In 2019, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), in cooperation with the National Assembly of Persons with Disabilities of Ukraine (NAPD), produced a video on ensuring accessibility of polling stations for people with disabilities. This video was developed by IFES with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Global Affairs Canada and the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID). An English transcript of the video is available below.

 

The video can be viewed at this link.

 

(Transcript begins)

 

Narrator: Oleh Poloziuk works as a lawyer at the National Assembly of People with Disabilities. Today, he is on his way to a polling station. Thanks to Mr. Oleh’s work, this polling station has become more and more accessible to people with disabilities.

 

Oleh: As a lawyer, I always write down my suggestions and proposals in the application request to the head of the DEC. Such applications are then reviewed at the meeting of the precinct election commission. And, as the polling station is located in a public building, the developer equipped it with a ramp. Getting this result requires initiative. For instance, in a form of application to the owner or operator of the premises. And then the owner or operator can plan expenditures for ensuring accessibility of the premises and prioritize such changes.

 

Narrator: According to research carried out by the National Assembly of People with Disabilities, only 11 out of 90 polling stations in three Ukrainian cities are accessible to people with disabilities. Not only people using a wheelchair face difficulties during the voting process. Polling stations are not accessible for people with visual, intellectual and psychosocial disabilities and people who are hard-of-hearing. Is your polling station not accessible to people with disabilities too? Make an application to your DEC. Find a template of the application and information on the signs of accessible polling station by the link: http://ifesukraine.org/dostupnist/. Let’s make accessible choices together!

 

(Transcript ends)