COLUMBUS – Secretary of State Jon Husted today announced the release of $65,000 in grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through the Help America Vote Act, for programs designed to improve the accessibility to, and participation in, the election process for individuals with disabilities.
“Working to ensure all Ohioans have access at the polls is important,” Husted said. “I commend these organizations for the work they are doing on behalf of individuals with disabilities.”
The Secretary of State’s office, responsible for administration of the grants, awarded funding to four proposals that plan to develop a voter education program that addresses specific needs of Ohioans with disabilities and encourage the participation of those individuals in the election process. The programs receiving funding include:
- Havar, Inc. ($20,000) serves voters with any disability in Athens, Hocking, Meigs, Vinton and Washington Counties. Havar plans will develop activities related to various elections related processes, such as voter registration and voter education, designed to increase the participation of people with disabilities.
- Deaf Services Center ($20,000) serves voters with hearing disabilities with voter registration and voter education in a 24 county region, which includes central, southern and southwest Ohio. Deaf Services Center hopes to expand their program to all 88 counties in Ohio through their 8 regional offices.
- VoiceCorps ($10,000), formerly Central Ohio Reading Radio Service, serves primarily voters in central Ohio who are blind, have muscular dystrophy or have other developmental disabilities. VoiceCorps is looking to expand their services throughout the state to Ohio’s six other reading service centers.
- People First of Ohio ($15,000) is one of the largest statewide advocacy organizations in Ohio and part of a larger national organization. The group serves voters of all disabilities and is looking to improve upon and expand current services.