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Voting and Civic Participation

Why This Is Important

Voting and the many other ways of being an active citizen are important to self-advocates because they give everyone a chance to have their voices be heard, and make a difference, throughout the community. Unfortunately, there are many reasons that self-advocates have been left out when it comes to being active and involved citizens. For example, sometimes self-advocates have been told that if they have a guardian they cannot vote, but these laws have been changed in most states. Sometimes self-advocates don't know where or when to vote, or how to tell their stories to important policymakers. Sometimes self-advocates lack the transportation or other supports necessary to exercise their rights as citizens.

This department has products to help people with disabilities get around these problems and exercise all of their rights as citizens. There are products to help people become more active and engaged citizens by doing things like joining Boards and Commissions, voting in elections, protesting against bad ideas, and even running for office.

This web site is maintained by the Research and Training Center on Community Living with support from the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services, the Human Services Research Institute and the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. E-mail weste050@umn.edu.
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