September 14, 2022
Source: American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)
Each September, the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)’s REV UP Voting Campaign coordinates Disability Voting Rights Week (DVRW) (previously called National Disability Voter Registration Week) to increase the political power of people with disabilities. DVRW focuses on getting disabled people registered and ready to vote and engaging our candidates and communities on issues impacting people with disabilities.
In 2020, an estimated 38 million people with disabilities were eligible to vote. Since 2020, we’ve also seen an increase in legislation that makes it harder for people of color and people with disabilities to vote.
All of us should be on ensuring ballot box access for voters with disabilities as we approach upcoming elections in November. We are already off to an amazing start to make this a highly impactful DVRW: more than 200 organizations signed up to be official DVRW Partners and are mobilizing their supporters and communities to be ready to vote!
AAPD has dedicated this year’s Disability Voting Rights Week to the memory of REV UP Georgia Co-Leader Gaylon Tootle, who passed away last weekend. AAPD and all of those involved in REV UP are devastated by Gaylon’s passing over the weekend.
Gaylon was a true champion for voting rights and civil rights more broadly, working diligently to expand access to the ballot for disabled people and people of color and to prevent the further suppression of their votes. His dedicated leadership, passion, and wisdom will be dearly missed, and his presence is certainly felt by the REV UP and AAPD team this week.
Our dedication of DVRW in Gaylon’s memory is made not only to commemorate Gaylon’s incredible legacy of advocacy, but also to motivate others to act in his spirit, which is the best way to honor him. We hope you’ll join us in honoring Gaylon, as well as the importance and vitality of the act of voting. Here are some ways to get involved in DVRW this week:
Join in the many virtual and in-person events our REV UP state affiliates and partners are hosting. More than 15 events are open for participation! Check out this link to the calendar of events on our website.
Each day of this week, we are posting a daily action that individuals can take to build the power of the disability vote. Be sure to follow AAPD’s Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook pages, as well as REV UP’s Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook pages to learn from and share these actions!
Share more about the importance of disability voting rights with your community by using our Social Media Toolkit, linked here.
AAPD’s REV UP Voting Campaign Coordinator Lilian Aluri has also been sharing REV UP’s work in some phenomenal media this week! Be sure to read Lilian’s blog for the U.S. Vote Foundation, “Making Voting Accessible Means Millions More Votes,” and listen to this podcast episode on voting with Lilian, YT Bell from the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and Dessa Cosma from Detroit Disability Power on AAPD Board Member Judy Heumann’s podcast, “The Heumann Perspective,” linked here on Judy’s website, as well as on Apple Podcasts, and Spotify.
Finally, we want to hear from you! If you are engaging disabled voters in your community, please be sure to share our Voter Hub at aapd.com/wevote, tag us on social media, and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
News source: aapd.com/advocacy/voting/dvrw