Category Archives: News

‘We depend on each other’: A community driven to vote -Georgia

November 3, 2022 | Atlanta and Decatur, Ga.

The Christian Science Monitor

People with disabilities have faced access challenges at the polls, and some now see those rising. Their pushback: helping each other to be counted.

November 3, 2022 | Atlanta and Decatur, Ga.

For many voters, the act of casting a ballot has become easier. There are mail-in options, drop boxes, early-voting periods. States have maintained that moves to prevent cheating have not limited access. 

People with disabilities have gained too, but they still face hurdles. Many lack access to vehicles or public transportation, making it nearly impossible to vote in person. Suzanne Thornton hopes to change that.

“I kept seeing free rides … to the polls,” says Thornton, a veteran with limited mobility who lives in Decatur, Georgia. “And I’d call them and say, ‘Do you have an accessible van?’ And they’re like, ‘No.’ So if you were in a wheelchair, you couldn’t get a ride.”

Thornton, who goes by “Zan” and uses gender neutral pronouns, organized free wheelchair-accessible rides to the polls for more than 150 people during the 2020-2021 U.S. Senate special election in Georgia. They are continuing this work for the 2022 midterms.

In general elections, there’s been a persistent gap between the turnout rates of voters with and without disabilities. If this gap were closed, there would be an estimated 1.75 million more votes. For Thornton and other people with disabilities, ensuring that everyone who wants to vote has access sometimes means finding creative solutions together.

“If you had to count on my energy, I don’t think we can get to 200, not even to 100,” Thornton says about getting people to the polls. “It’s just working through community. And that’s what the disability community is, working together.”

2021 Disability Vote Summit

The National Disability Rights Network and the American Association of People with Disabilities will be hosting the 2021 Disability Vote Summit on Tuesday, September 14, 2021 from 12:00 – 4:00 PM EST. At the virtual Summit, we will explore:

  • The power of the disability vote
  • Lessons learned from 2020 turnout
  • How to use data to mobilize the disability vote

Confirmed presenters include representatives from the National Disability Rights Network, the National Federation of the Blind, SABE Go Voter Project, and more! Join national disability advocates, state and local organizers, policymakers, and others who are working to get out the disability vote.

If you have any questions, please contact Lilian Aluri at or Jack Rosen at

Visit AAPD’s website to learn more about National Disability Voter Registration Week (NDVRW), which is from September 13-20, and how you can get involved. 

American Sign Language interpreters and CART live-captioning services will be available for this event.

National Disability Voter Registration Week 2021

Updated August 16, 2021.

National Disability Voter Registration Week (NDVRW) is September 13-20, 2021. Are you ready to get the word out?

AAPD / REVUP Training Video

Make sure you see Marlene Sallo of the Disability Law Center around 40:41 and Colleen Flanagan of Disability Action for America around 48:51. Marlene speaks about the importance of partnerships to the REVUP MA efforts. Colleen introduces Relational Organizing, and talks about how to apply this technique to registering people with disabilities. AAPD REVUP Zoom Meeting

Sign up as a partner for NDVRW!

Use this sign-up form to let us know you want to join NDVRW.

Start Planning

  • Find local community and organization partners.
  • Decide on your event or initiative and plan the details.
  • Tell us about your event so we can add it to our website!
  • Gather materials and volunteers as needed.
  • Publicize your event or initiative.
  • Track your success (for example, number of voters registered, event attendees, materials distributed, events hosted) and share it with us afterwards.

Use AAPD / REV UP toolkits and resources!

Visit for ideas and tool kits.

REV UP National Call on June 24 at 3:30pm EST

Join the AAPD (American Association of People with Disabilities) upcoming REV UP National Call on June 24 at 3:30pm EST! The REV UP team hosted several webinars this spring, and we are excited to resume our quarterly meeting to connect face to face (virtually) with the REV UP network.

The REV UP National Call will take place on zoom and will be a time for advocates, partners, and organizers in the REV UP network across the country to share updates on how they’ve been building the power of the disability vote. We will also discuss plans for the National Disability Voter Registration Week, September 13-17 and 20. Register for the REV UP National Call.

If you would like to share updates about how you or your organization has been engaged in voting work or if you have particular questions you would like us to answer, please contact Lilian Aluri at or let us know in your registration form. The call will include ASL interpreting and CART, and to request additional accommodations, you can also email Lilian Aluri at

We hope you will join us and Happy Juneteenth!

The REV UP National call will include American Sign Language interpreting and CART captioning.

National Disability Voter Registration Week 2021

REV UP Announcement from – April 1, 2021

Since 2016, the American Association of People with Disabilities has hosted National Disability Voter Registration Week, a week that brings together disability and voting rights advocates across the U.S. to celebrate and grow the power of the disability vote. National Disability Voter Registration Week (NDVRW) usually takes place in July every year and features voter registration drives, celebrations, trainings, and digital outreach centered on the disability vote.

We have an exciting announcement about National Disability Voter Registration Week (NDVRW) in 2021. After talking with each other and with REV UP organizers and partners, we have decided to shift NDVRW from the third week of July to the third week of September. This means that the 2021 dates for NDVRW are now September 13-17, 2021. Hosting NDVRW in September will align better with when REV UP organizers and partners, as well as the general public, engage in voting and elections. Here’s why:

  • Many organizers will have more time to participate in NDVRW in September. In July, many people in our community are busy planning and participating in events marking the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, conferences, and summer programs.
  • In September, NDVRW will take place before many general election voter registration deadlines, and the urgency of November elections may increase overall engagement in NDVRW.
  • NDVRW will also build excitement in our community for National Voter Registration Day which takes place the following week in September.

With the ongoing attacks on voting rights in states across the country, our mission of building the power of the disability vote has new challenges. We are eager to continue to partner with all of you this year and during NDVRW in September to build the power of the disability vote. So far, organizers have shared positive feedback for this date change, and if you have any additional questions or feedback, reach out to Lilian Aluri at

Summary: The American Association of People with Disabilities leads a week of talking with our communities about voting and making sure people with disabilities are ready to vote in the next election. This week is called National Disability Voter Registration Week, and it is usually in July. In the future, National Disability Voter Registration Week will be in September. In 2021, National Disability Voter Registration Week is September 13-17. Changing the date of National Disability Voter Registration Week will make it easier for people to get involved and help out.