The internet offers many different platforms to reach audiences in ways that unite people with information. MNCDHH noticed a variety of critical gaps in resources on voting and advocacy, that is accessible to people who are deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing. Steps needed to be taken to address this disparity.
MNCDHH saw how important it is for concerned citizens to know how to effectively advocate for or against policy on local, state, and national policy issues and has done civic engagement work since 2001. Here are a few examples of projects and collaboratives we have worked on in order to ensure that people who are deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing enjoy the same level of voter access as others.
Way back in 2004, Digiterp Communications created a video series called, "Views from the Voting Booth." MNCDHH was a supporter of this project as well as the Minnesota Participation Project of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, National Voice, MADC, and MRID. Many Minnesotans were involved, including Elise Knopf, David Moberg, Jonie Langdon-Larson, Kim Wassenaar, Mike Cashman, Roger Brown, Randy Shank, Sherri Rademacher, Toni Fairbanks, Trudy Suggs, Justin Small, Jeff Moen, and Elee Vang.
In 2008, MNCDHH developed an online ASL course called “Making Your Case” that takes participants step by step in this process.
MNCDHH also wanted to share voting information with the public. In 2012, MNCDHH collaborated with the Secretary of State to form "Minnesota Votes," a video series. In 2016, MNCDHH hired 2 Certified Deaf Interpreters (CDIs) and worked with the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State and ZenMation to create and release 14 voter education videos.
All materials are available in American Sign Language (ASL) and English, with captioning, voiceover, and descriptive transcripts.