Visit the Council’s website to take the full survey at icdd.idaho.gov
Every five years the Council seeks for your ideas to decide what
work we will do to improve the lives of those with
intellectual/developmental disabilities and their families.
For Immediate Release
Claire Stanley, Advocacy and Outreach Specialist, American Council of the Blind
Courtney R. Holthus, Advocacy Director, DisAbility Rights Idaho
(208) 336-5353, ext. 119
ACB Urges Department of Justice to Ensure Right to Private, Independent Vote
“Individuals with disabilities have a right to full participation in voting, including absentee voting,” stated Eric Bridges, executive director of the American Council of the Blind. “Persons with disabilities have fought for decades for their right to vote privately and independently. Now, especially in light of COVID- 19, such persons are fighting for their right to vote via absentee ballot.”
On May 15, 2020, ACB filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Disability Rights Section, to emphasize the inaccessibility of absentee voting for persons who are blind and visually impaired in the state of Idaho during the 2020 primary election. The complaint provided personal declarations of Idaho residents who, as it stands now, cannot vote privately and independently in their home state via absentee ballot. This submission was a supplemental complaint to one filed by Disability Rights Idaho (DRI) on April 23, 2020. The complaint filed by DRI stressed concerns about the lack of information being provided for voters with disabilities, including elderly individuals with disabilities, regarding accessibility options so that voters can maintain their right to vote independently during the May 19, 2020 primary election.
“DRIP remains concerned that voters with disabilities across the state of Idaho may become disenfranchised by the lack of uniformity and specificity that is being offered when it comes to providing accommodations to voters with disabilities,” said Courtney Holthus, Advocacy Director with DRI. “Voters with disabilities have the right to request modifications to the voting process. They have a right to equally effective communication, including the provision of ballots in alternative formats. Those rights are not waived or eliminated by the COVID-19 crisis.”
ACB urges the DOJ to ensure the right to a private and independent vote in Idaho for all future elections. Both organizations are confident that these complaints with the Department will yield positive findings that will impact voting accessibility nationwide.
Today DisAbility Rights Idaho stands in solidarity with those and the families of those who have lost their lives to systemic racism and white supremacy. DRI’s mission is independence, self-sufficiency, and full membership into communities for people with disabilities. Race, gender, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation/identity and socio-economic status all know disability. DRI values integration and diversity. DRI acknowledges and respects past trauma. DRI works to eliminate cultural and linguistic biases.
In order to achieve our mission and vision of independence, self-sufficiency and full membership, minorities including persons of color and disability must feel and be safe in their communities and neighborhoods. Violence against people of color must end. We reject white supremacy, racism and the very idea that any individual or group has the right to dominate others. DRI will continue to fight for inclusion, equality, civil rights and justice.
Acting Executive Director/Legal Director
Disability Rights Idaho
Thank you for your interest in The Idaho Council on Developmental Disabilities weekly webinars. Each webinar* is created to answer your questions, and to share information and resources to help you during the COVID-19 crisis.
The first webinar, “Ask Art”, was held last Friday, April 17th.
Art Evans, DD Services Bureau Chief in the Division of Medicaid answered questions from individuals with I/DD receiving services and their family members about services during the COVID-19 crisis.
If you missed today’s webinar, please check our website for the recorded session.
“Ask Dr. Stumph” – Wednesday, April 29th from 1:00-2:30 (Mountain Time) 12:00-1:30 (Pacific Time) the Council will be hosting Susan Stumph, Ph.D., Developmental Disabilities Program Manager with Family and Community Services, IDHW. Susan will present information about what the department has done to support children and families and make services more flexible. She will also answer questions that families pre-submit.
To submit questions CLICK HERE. You can ask up to three questions. Please submit your questions by 5:00 PM Monday, April 27th.
To register in advance for this meeting CLICK HERE.
“Ask Dr. Silva” – Friday, May 1st from 1:00-2:30 (Mountain Time) 12:00-1:30 (Pacific Time) the Council will be hosting Council member and State Special Education Director, Charlie Silva. Ph.D. Charlie will present information and current resources available and review the State Department of Education website to show people where to find resources. She will also be answering pre-submitted questions from families.
To submit questions CLICK HERE. You can ask up to three questions. Please submit your questions by 5:00 PM Tuesday, April 28th.
To register in advance for this meeting CLICK HERE.
People with disabilities need to make sure they are counted. The 2020 Census determines how billions of dollars in federal funding is spent across every state – and how much goes to support people with disabilities and their lives in the community. Make sure your household’s census form is complete. Fill it out right at home. You Count! Be Counted! #DisabilityCounts2020
Due to the COVID19 outbreak, the U.S. Census Bureau has extended the self-response phase deadline for the 2020 Census to October 31st. Check out their website for up to date information: https://2020census.gov/en/news-events/operational-adjustments-covid-19.html
Voting absentee by mail is a simple way for many voters with disabilities to participate in the
Primary Election. Voters may complete their ballot in the comfort and privacy of their home.
Here are the three steps you need take to request an absentee ballot:
Details will be released during a press conference on Thursday, April 16, 2020 at 3pm. The press conference will be streamed live on the Idaho Secretary of State Facebook page, where comments will be addressed both live and immediately following.