February 2019 Newsletter

Advocacy Watch

P&A works to ensure that the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Help America Vote Act (HAVA) affecting voters with disabilities are upheld. Currently there are six voting bills concerning a new voting system for South Carolina. P&A is advocating for a universal voting system for the state that is both accessible and secure. A universal system will allow all voters to vote in the exact same method, which would eliminate issues of ensuring that there is a system in place for voters with disabilities. Some of these bills call for the opposite of a universal voting system and include hand-marked paper ballots. These are inaccessible to many people with disabilities. According to the American Community Survey, there are over 700,000 voters with disabilities in South Carolina. They deserve to vote privately and independently in the same method that all voters do. If hand marked ballots are selected as the voting method for South Carolina, the HAVA act would require a minimum of one accessible machine per polling place in federal election, resulting in no protection for voters with disabilities to their right to vote during local and state elections.

Client Success Story

P&A attorney Rebecca Fulmer successfully got her client the repairs he needed to his hearing aids. The client needed them repaired in order to continue to work in his job and contacted P&A for help. Ms. Fulmer was able to educate him on his rights to assistive technology as well as speak to SC Vocational Rehabilitation Department (SCVRD). The client has successfully had his hearing aids repaired.

Staff Spotlight

Leona Washington is an Outreach, Information and Referral (OIR) Specialist for P&A, and works in the Charleston office. Leona started working for the organization in 1979 as an Administrative Assistant. In her current position, Leona is a front line specialist who handles intake calls, provides resources and information, and handles case referrals. Leona also represents P&A in numerous outreach events and coordinates the Minority Rural Outreach Program Advisory Committee, which highlights the needs of people with disabilities that live in rural communities. Leona has many wonderful memories of her work at P&A, but one of her favorite memories was when she drove a fellow employee to a speaking engagement, and locked her keys in the car. The fellow employee made a joke about being locked out the car and told the audience she was glad it wasn’t a hot summer day in Charleston! Leona, thank you for your years of service and for the work you have done to improve the lives of people in South Carolina!

Mark Your Calendar

Assistive Technology Expo, March 5, 2019, Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, Hosted by SC Assistive Technology Program, Click here for more information

Empowering a Future, March 15, 2019, Columbia Convention Center, Hosted by Able SC, Click here for more information ,

Mapping Your Future, March 16, 2019, Columbia Convention Center, Hosted by Able SC, Click here for more information

P&A Annual Gala, May 3, 2019, Nelson Mullins, Columbia, Hosted by P&A, Click here for more information

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