Important Information for Texas Voters with Disabilities

Here is important information about voting in Texas if you have a disability:

In every federal election each polling place will offer at least one type of accessible voting equipment.

Accessible voting systems can accommodate no vision, low vision, no hearing, low hearing, limited manual dexterity, limited reach, limited strength, no mobility, low mobility, or any combination of the foregoing except the combination of no hearing and no vision.

Each polling place is required to meet strict accessibility standards, such as ground floor access, curb cuts to the entrance, wide doors, and other barrier free elements.

Voters with disabilities may receive assistance in voting from either election officials or a person of their choosing. A voter may not receive assistance from his/her employer or someone from a union. The voter does not have to provide proof of disability.

If a person asks for assistance from an election official, a poll watcher or election inspector is allowed to observe the process.

A voter who does not understand English, or communicates using sign language, may bring an interpreter to assist him/her with voting. If the voter cannot bring someone, he/she should contact a local election official and request that an interpreter be available at the polling location. Be sure to specify what type of interpreter is needed (for an oral language other than English or for sign language).

Curbside voting is allowed during early voting or on Election Day. It is advisable to call an election official ahead of time if curbside voting will be needed.

If you are over the age of 65, have a disability, or will be out of town on Election Day, you may vote by mail. Click here for instructions on voting by mail: www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/voter/reqabbm.shtml

In some counties, the Democratic Party staffs volunteers who will provide transportation to voters who are elderly or disabled on Election Day. These volunteers will not ask for money, and will not ask who you are voting for or what your party affiliation is. It is advisable to contact the office ahead of time as there may be a waiting list or transportation schedule. For a list of the Democratic Party offices in Texas, click here: www.txdemocrats.org/party/counties

Information for this blog post was taken from: www.votetexas.gov/voters-with-special-needs/

Register to Vote by October 11th

The deadline for registering to vote in the November 8th general election is October 11th.

Here is the web site for information on registering to vote in Texas:
http://www.votetexas.gov/register-to-vote/you-must-register-by/

Use this link to determine if you are already registered to vote:
https://teamrv-mvp.sos.texas.gov/MVP/mvp.do

Here is a link to the voter registration application:
https://webservices.sos.state.tx.us/vrapp/index.asp

You may also register in person at your county Voter Registrar’s Office, which is usually the County Tax Assessor – Collector’s Office. Here is a link to the offices by county:
http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/voter/votregduties.shtml

In addition, most public libraries, government offices, and high schools have voter registration applications.

You may fill out this online form to request that a postage-paid voter registration application be mailed to you:
https://webservices.sos.state.tx.us/vrrequest/index.asp
Mail the completed application to the county Voter Registrar’s Office.

You must be at least 17 years and 10 months old when you apply, and you need to have a Driver’s License, ID card, or Social Security card.

Future blog posts will have more information about the upcoming election. Please contact the Disability Information & Referral Center at 800-252-9605 if you have any questions.

Accessible Parking Survey Available Through October 5th

The Texas Governor’s Committee for People with Disabilities is requesting individuals to complete a survey about accessible parking. The survey takes about fifteen minutes and may be filled out by persons with disabilities, family members and caregivers, veterans with disabilities, and professionals in the field of disability. The survey will help the Governor’s Committee make recommendations to the state legislature about accessible parking.

To participate, please click here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/W2J6D23
The survey is anonymous. If you have any questions or need assistance, you may contact the Governor’s Committee at gcpd@gov.texas.gov. The survey will be available until Wednesday, October 5th.

Golf Benefit for Deaf-Blind Camp of Texas to be held on Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Deaf-Blind Camp of Texas (DBCT), a non-profit group that provides a yearly camp experience for deaf-blind adults, is hosting a golf benefit on Saturday, September 10th, 2016, at the Stonetree Golf Club, 1600 Stonetree Drive, in Killeen. The cost is $80 per person, or $300 for a group of four. All forms are due by Monday, September 5th.

For more information, please visit http://www.dbctx.org/golf-benefit/

26th Anniversary of the ADA Celebration, August 26th, 2016 at Texas School for the Deaf

A celebration of the 26th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities will be held on Friday, August 26, 2016, at the Texas School for the Deaf, 1102 South Congress Ave, in the Deaf Smith Auditorium, beginning at 6 pm. The CEO of the National Association of the Deaf, Howard Rosenblum, will be the keynote speaker, addressing Deaf rights, advocacy successes, and ADA updates.

Refreshments will be provided, including an ADA celebration cake. This event is free and open to the public.

Sign language interpreters and live captioning will be available.

Governor’s Committee Top 10 for the ADA Anniversary

To celebrate the 26th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Texas Governor’s Committee for People with Disabilities has compiled a top 10 list of state agencies and the accessibility initiatives of each agency. Here is the Top 10, with links to learn more about the various programs. And by the way, check out who comes in at #4!

#10 Texas Secretary of State
Vote Texas:
http://www.votetexas.gov/voters-with-special-needs/

#9 Texas Workforce Commission
Civil Rights Division:
http://www.twc.state.tx.us/programs/civil-rights-program-overview

#8 Texas Historical Commission
Providing access to historic properties:
http://www.thc.texas.gov/preserve/buildings-and-property/providing-access-historic-properties

#7 Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
Information on wheelchair-accessible parks and historic sites:
http://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/parks/things-to-do/wheelchair-accessibility-in-state-parks

#6 Texas Department of Public Safety
State of Texas Emergency Assistance Registry (STEAR):
https://www.txdps.state.tx.us/dem/stear/public.htm

#5 Department of Assistive & Rehabilitative Services
Specialized Telecommunications Assistance Program (STAP):
http://www.dars.state.tx.us/dhhs/stap.shtml
Note: On September 1st, the STAP program will move to the Texas Health & Human Services Commission.

#4 The Texas State Library & Archives Commission
The Talking Book Program:
https://www.tsl.texas.gov/tbp/index.html

#3 Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation
Architectural Barriers Texas Accessibility Standards (TAS):
https://www.tdlr.texas.gov/ab/abtas.htm

#2 Texas Health & Human Services Commission
Accessibility Center for Electronic Information Resources:
http://accessibility.hhs.texas.gov/

#1 Office of the Governor – Committee on People with Disabilities
Texas Key Laws & Resources:
http://gov.texas.gov/disabilities/resources

Two Disability Job Fairs in Austin–Register Now

The first of two disability job fairs in Texas will take place on Friday, September 9, 2016, from 12:15 – 3 pm, at the Region X Education Service Center, 904 Abrams Road, in Richardson, a suburb of Dallas. Interested job seekers should register using this link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfERKZExgLwhTnmMeO-Q75f1opD0ZDanzYejkFX4x51XpDVjQ/viewform?c=0&w=1
For more information, contact April Yurch at 972-348-1638, april.yurch@region10.org

The second disability job fair will occur on Friday, October 7, 2016, from 9 am to noon, at the Region XIII Education Service Center, 5701 Springdale Drive, in Austin. Job seekers may register for this job and resource fair by clicking here: http://www.wfscapitalarea.com/calendarevents/tabid/93/ctl/editreg/mid/633/itemid/4557/d/20161007/Register.aspx
For more information, contact Robert Alexander at 512-483-0900, Robert.Alexander@twc.state.tx.us

Apple Watch Adding Features for Wheelchair Users

The Apple watch will soon allow wheelchair users to track their activity level throughout the day much like other fitness trackers already allow for people walking or running.

With a software update available in Fall 2016, manual wheelchair users will be able to track all-day calorie goals and the Apple watch will offer wheelchair-specific workouts.

Also, a reminder that says “time to stand” to prompt standing breaks will soon say “time to roll” to encourage wheelchair users to keep active.

Click here for more information: https://www.apple.com/watchos-preview/


Mention of a product or service in this blog does not constitute endorsement by this library. Our intention is to increase an awareness of programs and items that may be helpful to our patrons.

Dallas Area: Special Pricing on Computers; New Low Vision Store

Computers for the Blind

The Dallas-area based company that provides refurbished desktop and laptop computers for individuals with visual disabilities is offering, while supplies last, computers for a special low price of $50 if you receive Social Security payments. Call 214-340-6328 for more information.

New Low Vision Store: 4 Low Vision

4 Low Vision is a new store that will have its grand opening on Friday, July 15th. The store is part of the American Foundation for the Blind’s Center on Vision Loss. The store will sell items such as portable and desktop video magnifiers, clocks, and kitchen and medical items. To contact 4 Low Vision, call 469-522-1803 or send an e-mail to 4lowvisionstore@gmail.com

Location: 11030 Ables Lane

Hours of operation: 10 am-2 pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and noon-4 pm on Thursdays

VFO Acquires Ai Squared

VFO, a leading assistive technology provider for the blind and visually impaired, which has already acquired Freedom Scientific and Optelec, has now added Ai Squared to its list of assets.

“Adding the brand, product portfolio and capabilities of Ai Squared to VFO gives us the broadest portfolio in the industry, unmatched global distribution and market leading customer support,” said John Blake, CEO and President of VFO. “The combined company will offer customers the industry’s most recognized screen magnification solutions, ZoomText and MAGic, and screen reading solutions, JAWS, ZoomText Fusion and Window-Eyes, next to the broad portfolio of video magnifiers, scan and read solutions, and refreshable Braille displays.”

There is no word yet on whether Ai Squared will keep its name and contact information, or be absorbed into another VFO company.