#TheArcVotes (The Arc of Massachusetts REV UP Campaign)

The Arc of Massachusetts REV UP Campaign

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Welcome to the homepage for #TheArcVotes, The Arc of Massachusetts REV UP Campaign. Election season is just around the corner in Massachusetts. The state primaries will be held on Tuesday, September 4, 2018 (last day to register: August 15), and the state election will be held on Tuesday, November 6, 2018 (last day to register: October 17). Though these elections are mid-term elections, we at The Arc of Massachusetts want to remind you how important they are for our community. “When you vote, you choose who represents the disability community in the government at all levels . . . You have the power to choose who decides the structure and funding of disability programs, like our lifelines—including Medicaid and Social Security” (https://www.thearc.org/what-we-do/resources/toolkits/vote). With so much at stake, let’s mobilize our community! Please make sure that all eligible voters* in your family and disability network are registered to vote.

* Help America Vote Act (HAVA) 2002: Voting needs to be “accessible for individuals with disabilities, including nonvisual accessibility for the blind and visually impaired, in a manner that provides the same opportunity for access and participation (including privacy and independence) as for other voters” (“On Voting Accessibility for People with Disabilities,” Norman Ornstein and Kristina Kopić). It further mandates that every voting place have at least one accessible voting machine.


#TheArcVotes Interviews

#TheArcVotes Blog

Leo Sarkissian Discusses #TheArcVotes On WBZ 4 Your Community

On Saturday morning, July 14, The Arc of Massachusetts Executive Director Leo Sarkissian appeared on WBZ / CBS Boston’s 4 Your Community with anchor Anaridis Rodriguez. In this interview, Leo discusses the ongoing national efforts behind the REV UP campaign, as well as The Arc of Massachusetts’ own campaign, #TheArcVotes!

You can view the segment in its entirety below.

Posted in , , | Posted on July 16, 2018 | Leave a comment Continue reading

Vinfen Self-Advocates Encourage Voter Advocacy

After completing a training on voting and the registration process, members of Vinfen’s Metro Boston Self-Advocacy Group are now focusing their advocacy efforts on encouraging people with disabilities to vote and make their voices heard. The group is comprised of people Vinfen serves who have intellectual and developmental disabilities and is led by Vinfen Director of Service Asela Jayasinghe and Director of Community Living Meg Gaydos.

Due to their strong history of advocating for the rights and needs of people with disabilities, and dedication to supporting their local community through volunteerism, the Self-Advocacy Group was chosen to receive Vinfen’s first training on voter advocacy.

The training was delivered by Vinfen Development and Special Events Coordinator Alex Yellin, who developed the Vinfen Voter Advocacy Guide and training plan with the aim of supporting the people Vinfen serves to register, vote, and address the issues that matter to them. The self-advocates learned about the voting process, including how to register, their rights on Election Day, and what to expect at the polls. Several individuals registered to vote during the training.

For Donald L., it was his first time registering to vote. “This is an opportunity I’ve never felt I had before, but now that I have it, I’m going to vote,” he said. He was especially excited to support his preferred candidate in the next presidential election.

Kim W. was thrilled to have the chance to register to vote during the training. “I want to vote because I want my voice to be heard,” she said. Armed with this knowledge on the intricacies of the voting process, the group has set their sights on supporting other people with disabilities to advocate for themselves by voting.

“I want to vote because I feel it’s time to be a part of the movement that supports people with disabilities,” said Javel P. He and his fellow group members have been working hard to connect people served by Vinfen and other people with disabilities in their communities with the resources they need to vote and advocate for themselves. But perhaps most importantly, they have gone above and beyond to provide encouragement and reminders about the importance of voting.

“I’ve been voting for long time and I will never miss an election. I always vote,” said self-advocacy group member Barbara M. Another veteran voter, Deb T., echoed her enthusiasm for the importance of making your voice heard by submitting a ballot. “Of course, I vote! I want to be a part of it,” she said.

Posted with the permission of Vinfen. Thanks to Asela Jayasinghe for sharing this wonderful story.

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Posted in | Posted on July 2, 2018 | Leave a comment Continue reading

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