Voting is important, in 2020 perhaps more so than ever. However, the ongoing COVID19 changes mean that this process looks different than it has in years past. Be My Eyes is making accessible voting information available by state in its app. See the text of the Be My Eyes email, and find out about some patriotic items available from the National Braille Press, below.
As blind and low-vision people, we are underestimated and underrepresented every day of our lives. Voting in an election is our chance to change that. We may only turn out a few million strong, but in an election, that can make a big difference.
That’s why, for the 2020 presidential election, Be My Eyes and Vote.org are teaming up – to make sure that for any American with a visual impairment, the process of registering and preparing to vote is as clear and accessible as possible.
Using Be My Eyes, you can check whether you are registered to vote, be guided through registering if you are not already, and receive information about voting by mail and COVID-19 guidelines specific to your state. According to Will Butler, president of Be my Eyes, "In a time where social distancing is still a huge part of daily lives for all Americans, it’s more important than ever that everyone has a way to access all necessary information, to make sure that they are motivated and confident about voting come November."
Inn order to access voting information and assistance, open the Be My Eyes app, enter the Specialized Help menu and select Vote.org from the list of available organizations in the “Civic Engagement” category. Vote.org volunteers will be open to take your calls through Be My Eyes Monday through Friday 12pm to 4pm ET.
Additionally, the National Braille press has begun to offer several braille and tactile items potentially of interest to voters across the nation. The Declaration of Independence and Constitution of the United States are available as a brf document or single volume braille book. You can receive 1 copy of these documents, in either downloadable braille file or physical braille book, free of charge, and can email the National Braille Press at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss the cost of receiving multiple copies.
The National Braille Press also provides a tactile American flag with the pledge of aleagance written in either contracted or uncontracted braille. The product discription reads,
Does your child or student know what the American flag looks like? Have they read the Pledge of Allegiance?
These brilliant, red, white, and blue flags from KBTI feature tactile stars and stripes. The tactile horizontal red stripes are labeled with the lower case "r" at the far right, and the white stripes are labeled with the lower case "w."
The Pledge of Allegiance is displayed in large print over the red and white stripes, in alternating black and white lettering, and is also written in braille over the red stripes. Immediately beneath the flag is a key in braille. Flags measure 7.5" x 9.5".
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Tangela Mahaffey is a barely reformed English Major currently residing in Colorado. She reads entirely too many fantasy books and takes almost nothing seriously, including herself. She loves technology, music, writing, puns, and cats. She can be reached on twitter @tmmahaff