This month, the Communication Service for the Deaf announced the expansion of its SignVote campaign — designed to help inform and increase voter engagement among the deaf community throughout the 2020 elections.
A nonpartisan platform, SignVote spotlights accessible voter content and resources for those who communicate using American Sign Language (ASL). It’s the world’s largest deaf-led social impact organisation. “The goal of SignVote is to promote greater participation and engagement from our community in the political process and to elevate awareness of key issues that impact a deaf person’s quality of life,” said Chris Soukup, the CEO of CSD. “We believe that continued organizing and advocacy will expand visibility of topics that are important to our community, which makes their inclusion in candidates’ disability plans more likely.”
“Every deaf person deserves the right to make fully-informed decisions as voters,” adds Pumphrey. “SignVote provides an extensive ASL-based digital archive that will help eliminate some of the most fundamental barriers that deaf people still face today to full participation in the electoral process.”
According to CSD, many deaf people in the United States are eligible to vote but do not have access to important voting registration materials and elections information in ASL, their primary language, and many polling stations lack staff who are fluent in ASL. This creates, says CSD, a significant barrier to overall engagement and making informed choices throughout the election process.