Why Voting Rights Matter for People with Disabilities

Co-sponsored by The Century Foundation and the Albert Shanker Institute.


Watch the video


One in four people in the United States have a disability, making the disabled community one of the largest voting blocs in our country. Yet, they are underserved and face enormous challenges in exercising their right to vote, from polling place accessibility issues to guardianship laws, and more. At the same time, states are increasingly restricting access to voting for all Americans.

U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth and a distinguished group of experts discussed the threat to voting rights and why it is critical to protect them, especially for people with disabilities, and what Congress is considering doing to protect voting rights for all Americans.


Ralph Neas,senior counsel on voting rights, The Century Foundation

Judith (Judy) Heumann, disability rights advocate
Maria Town, president and CEO, American Association of People with Disabilities

Wade Henderson, interim president and CEO, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

The Honorable Tammy Duckworth, United States Senator (D-IL)
Mia Ives-Rublee, director, disability justice initiative, Center for American Progress
Lisa A. Schur, professor, labor studies and employment relations (LSER); director, program for disability research, Rutgers University
Mary Cathryn Ricker, Executive Director, Albert Shanker Institute


Blog Series on Voting Rights and Disability Rights

This ongoing blog series is part of the Shanker Institute’s continuing effort to strengthen our democracy in the face of existential threats

  • I Voted: Guest author, Rui Rui Bleifuss, a first-time voter and disability activist and senior at Highland Park Senior High School in St. Paul, MN, shares her experience at the ballot box and demonstrates how disability rights are voting rights, too.
    Rui Rui Bleifuss | Dec. 8, 2021