Elections preparation workshops kick off for persons with disabilities
ꟷ aimed at helping persons living with disabilities vote independently
A series of workshops aimed at educating persons living with disabilities to prepare them for the upcoming national elections in March has begun and will be conducted in various regions across the country.
This is according to the Guyana Council of Organisation for Persons with Disabilities (GCOPD) Programme Coordinator, Ganesh Singh, who made those remarks on Thursday during the launch of the Voters Education Campaign for Persons with Disabilities at the National Library, Georgetown.
He explained that this is the first workshop of its kind and that it will be implemented over the next two weeks in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam), Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) and Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica).
Vital information about the electoral process and requirements for persons living with disabilities will also be dispatched to relevant authorities in Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice), Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) and Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne).
“So that persons with disabilities can be fully aware of their rights as voters and what is going to happen on elections day for persons with disabilities. We are in the process of developing some audio clips and a brochure. These will be forwarded to the GECOM so that their elections day staff can be fully aware of how to interact and communicate with persons living with disabilities”.
He noted that although all of the systems in this regard have not been implemented as yet, persons living with disabilities will be able to have a “decent experience” when they visit polling stations on March 2, 2020, to cast his/her ballot.
“Ideally, we would have liked to conduct training with the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Elections Day staff. But we are using these methods as something as an urgent fix to the issue. Persons living with disabilities want equal access as it relates to voting and to vote privately and independently.”
He added that all persons living with disabilities should have access to polling stations and access to vote independently which is why the Guyana Persons with Disabilities Act was signed into law 10 years ago.
“This workshop is going to be very beneficial and will go a far way in promoting the whole accessibility for persons with disabilities in the electoral process.”