For Immediate Release
Georgians with disabilities face significant societal, physical, and legislative barriers to equal participation in their country’s electoral and political processes. A significant inhibiting factor for Georgia’s disability community is a lack of awareness, shortcomings in the electoral framework inadequacies of electoral procedures and full and equal access at polling stations.
Against this backdrop, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) in partnership with the Coalition for Independent Living (CIL) with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will hold a conference on February 27, 2013 to address legislative, societal and physical barriers that prevent the disability community in Georgia from achieving full political and electoral enfranchisement.
Participants will be engaged on topics such as: 1. Why the disability community should talk about political rights; 2. The right to vote; 3. Unique barriers people with different disabilities encounter to full and equal political participation; and, 4. The role of election management bodies in facilitating elections that are accessible. The conference will include a voting simulation where participants will experience voting at an accessible and inaccessible polling station.
Speakers will include U.S. Ambassador to Georgia Richard Norland, IFES Chief of Party Nermin Nišić, IFES Inclusion Advisor Virginia Atkinson, Central Election Commission Chairperson Zurab Kharatishvili, and CIL Chairperson Giorgi Dzneladze, among other stakeholders and distinguished guests: representatives from the Prime Minister’s office, international diplomatic corps, Georgia’s parliament, the Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs, nongovernmental local and international organizations, and Georgia’s disability community.
Last updated: April 16, 2013