Thursday, October 28, 2021

People with visual impairments can’t access crucial voting info in Detroit, ADA complaint says

Posted By on Thu, Oct 28, 2021 at 1:26 PM

click to enlarge A polling station in Detroit. - STEVE NEAVLING
  • Steve Neavling
  • A polling station in Detroit.

The nonprofit advocacy group Detroit Disability Power has filed a complaint with the city, saying people with visual impairments cannot access information about satellite voting locations ahead of the November election.

The group alleges the city is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by failing to provide accessible information on satellite polling locations on its website for people with visual impairments.

"We are five days out from Election Day and still the City of Detroit's website does not have screenreader-useable information about the upcoming said Dessa Cosma, executive director of Detroit Disability Power, said in a statement Thursday. “The disability community should not have to fight so hard to have basic accommodations, such as accessible information about where we can vote or drop off our ballots. There are more than 128,000 disabled residents of our city, including more than 27,000 Detroiters with visual impairments. We want to engage in the democratic process––it must be accessible."

The satellite voting locations are only available via a downloadable PDF, which a screen reader cannot access. Screen readers enable people with visual impairments to navigate computers.

Detroit Disability Power says it has made the Clerk’s Office aware of the issue for weeks, and the problem still has not been addressed.

This is far from the first time that the Clerk’s Office has come under fire for its handling of election information. In recent elections, Clerk Janice Winfrey's office has added unnecessary hurdles to voting by posting signage with incorrect polling hours, failing to send absentee ballots on time, and reducing satellite voting and absentee ballot box locations.

Voting rights advocate Denzel McCampbell is running against Winfrey in the general election.

People with visual impairments can access information about how to vote in Detroit at and
Stay connected with Detroit Metro Times. Subscribe to our newsletters, and follow us on Google News, Apple News, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Reddit.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 19, 2022

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2022 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation