The U.S. Election Assistance Commission Releases “Accessible Elections - Information for Election Officials” Video Training Series Conducted in Partnership with the National Center for Accessible Media
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC)–in partnership with the Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family National Center for Accessible Media at GBH (NCAM)–released an innovative, on-demand video training series on making voting more accessible to the 15.8 million voters with disabilities for new and experienced election officials, poll workers, and other election stakeholders. Each video, available on the EAC’s YouTube channel, is between five and seven minutes long and is designed to fit into an election worker’s busy schedule.
The short format and wide range of topics set the “Accessible Elections - Information for Election Officials” eight-part video series apart from other accessibility trainings. The series’ lessons incorporate not only physical accessibility, such as creating accessible polling places, but also promote ways election administrators can create accessible websites, social media, other electronic communications, and forums. The series’ broadly applicable guidance adheres to accessibility laws nationwide.
“While those with disabilities have the right to vote privately and independently, they may face several barriers before they cast their ballot,” said EAC Chairwoman Christy McCormick, Vice Chair Ben Hovland, Commissioner Donald Palmer, and Commissioner Thomas Hicks in a joint statement. “People with disabilities voted at a 3.6% lower rate overall than those without disabilities in 2022. The goal of the ‘Accessible Elections’ training series is to equip election officials with the ability to identify challenges to accessibility and give them the tools to correct them, a key part of the EAC’s mission. We have seen the progress officials have made in serving voters with accessibility, and we hope this tool will help continue that progress.”
According to a recent study the EAC conducted in partnership with Rutgers University, one in five voters with a disability either needed assistance or had some difficulty in voting in 2022—three times the rate of voters without disabilities. While election office websites are the top choice for those with and without disabilities to learn about the voting process or where to vote, the EAC’s “Disability, the Voting Process, and the Digital Divide” study found that technical audits of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or Section 508 compliance of election office websites have found significant issues with digital accessibility.
The EAC’s video training series promotes ways election workers can reduce this and other obstacles to accessibility, no matter a jurisdiction’s size or resources. NCAM, which worked with the EAC on the series, is a national leader in making digital media accessible for people with disabilities.
“NCAM is proud to collaborate with the EAC on this video series and applauds this effort to empower election officials and poll workers in their role of ensuring accessibility of communications, media, and the voting process for people with disabilities,” said Bryan Gould, Director of NCAM.
Through the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA), the EAC is tasked with maintaining a clearinghouse of election administration information. To fulfill this mission, the EAC provides best practices recommendations, training materials, and other resources for election officials. The video series is one of the latest of a growing library of election administration resources produced by the EAC. By enhancing the EAC’s work with voters with disabilities and the election officials who serve them, the EAC aims to improve accessibility and to ensure an independent and private vote for all.
About the U.S. Election Assistance Commission
The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) was established by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA). It is an independent, bipartisan commission charged with ensuring secure, accurate, and accessible elections by developing guidance to meet HAVA requirements, adopting voluntary voting system guidelines, and serving as a national clearinghouse of information on election administration. The EAC also accredits testing laboratories and certifies voting systems, as well as administers the use of HAVA funds. For more information, visit www.eac.gov.
About the Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family National Center for Accessible Media at GBH
For over 30 years, the Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family National Center for Accessible Media at GBH (NCAM) has been a national leader in making digital media accessible for people with disabilities. NCAM has influenced technology development and public policy, significantly improving the accessibility of Web technologies, content, and devices in every conceivable environment. NCAM’s accessibility solutions are being used to make multimedia and digital resources accessible in homes, schools, at work, and in the community. NCAM is part of GBH, the leading producer of PBS programs and online content and nationally recognized for production of media-based resources to support teacher training and student learning. For more information, visit ncam.org and gbh.org
Contact: Kristen Muthig
Email: [email protected]