Friday, August 25, 2017

Required reading!

I'm trying to ease back into the workforce. I have resumed my work slot at the Park Slope Food Co-op (more on that later, but I'm honestly waiting for something interesting to write about and that might take a while.). But, I started the process of becoming a poll worker and the first step was taking a training class. The best thing about the class was that it was only four hours long and the only thing I learned was that I won't be having to figure out anything by myself on election day.

But there was one thing: We started the class by taking turns reading out loud from the manual. We read pages five and six (I was so afraid we will get a read the next 95 pages) Please read them. If you can't read the pictures I took scroll downand read the words. If you're not gonna read all the words here are the few you should read. I've have edited them for every day use.

Never assume that a voter human requires assistance. If you think a voter needs assistance, ask how you can be helpful. Listen to and respect the voter's human’s answers. If a voter human asks for your assistance, listen to or ask for instructions as to how best to assist. Relax. Don’t be afraid to ask questions when you are unsure of what to do. If a voter human is assisted by an aide, make eye contact and speak directly to the voter, not the aide or anyone else. Be patient.


















Disability Awareness


Never assume that a voter requires assistance.

If you think a voter needs assistance, ask how you can be helpful. Listen to and respect the voter’s answers.

General Guidelines

If a voter asks for your assistance, listen to or ask for instructions as to how best to assist.

Relax. Don’t be afraid to ask questions when you are unsure of what to do.

If a voter is assisted by an aide, make eye contact and speak directly to the voter, not the aide or anyone else.

Be patient. Take as much time as is necessary.

Voters who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

If you do not understand something, do not pretend that you did.

Make eye contact and speak directly to the voter (not his/her companion), speak clearly and use short, simple sentences. Don’t shout. Ask the voter to repeat and then repeat it back to make sure you understand correctly.

Rephrase; don’t repeat your statements. Sometimes different words are heard and understood better than others.

Have a pad of paper and pen handy for written communication.

Keep your hands and other objects away from your mouth and do not chew gum.


Voters with Speech Disabilities

If you do not understand something, do not pretend that you did. Ask the voter to repeat and then repeat it back to be sure you understand correctly. Ask questions that require a short answer or nod of the head.

Do your best to understand the voter but if you continue to have difficulty, ask if the voter can suggest another option for communicating. The voter may offer to write the question but do not assume this is what the voter should do. Do not become impatient or finish sentences for the voter.

Voters with Limited Mobility

Try to place yourself at eye level . Do not hover over the voter. Do not lean on a wheelchair or other assistive device – these objects are considered personal space.

Do not assume a voter in a wheelchair wants to be pushed. Poll Workers are not to push wheelchairs or physically help voters.

Keep the Poll Site free of clutter or barriers in the path of voters.

Voters with Visual Impairments

Identify yourself to the voter (e.g. your name, role, and how you can assist the voter). Verbalize what you are doing: e.g. “I am locating your name on the Voter List.”

Let the voter locate you by the sound of your voice; do not touch the voter unless asked.

Offer all instructions and assistance verbally. Tell the voter of any obstacles in his or her path. For example, “The voting booths are located ten feet to your right.”

Notify the voter when you are leaving him/her alone.

Voters who are Deaf-Blind

You may touch the voter through their safe zones e.g.: shoulders and elbows.

Do not grab their hands.

Do not shout.

Anticipate the excessive touching, it’s how they communicate with you (tactile).

Allow sighted support provider to assist Deaf-Blind.

Do not move around too quickly, allow them to follow you (tracking).

Gesturing in small spaces may be a good way to communicate.

Voters with Cognitive Disabilities

Mental processes of perception, memory, judgment, or reasoning.

Be patient, flexible, and supportive. Take time to understand the voter and make sure the voter understands you.

Do not try to finish the voter’s sentences.

Try to limit distractions and keep things simple – take one task at a time.

Offer assistance completing forms or understanding written instructions and provide extra time for decision­making.


Service Animals

Many people use service animals for reasons that may not be visible or apparent. Dogs are permitted to serve as service animals in New York State.

Service animals are NOT required to “wear” identification such as a vest or bandana. If a voter says an animal is a service animal, it is permitted into the polling place. Do not touch or interact with any service animal.

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