Voter rights, accessibility training set for Monday

Photo of Michelle Graves

MANISTEE -- Members of the community are invited to voter rights and accessibility training on Monday.

"Anybody is welcome to attend; people who work with people who have disabilities, people with disabilities, friends and relatives," said Sheryl Kuenzer, of Manistee, who will be presenting a slide show along with Brett Williams, public policy analyst with the Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council.

"It is for people of various disabilities to discover that they have the right to vote in the election."

The event will be held from 10 a.m. to noon on Monday at Manistee United Methodist Church, located at 387 First St. in Manistee.

Those in attendance will learn their rights as a voter with a disability, why their vote matters and what to expect at the polls. 

"Attendees will gain valuable information regarding key characteristics of an accessible polling station, what are your rights to cast a ballot, how to access help in casting a ballot if needed, who can help cast your vote, who to contact in the event that you are denied your right to vote, and how do you address the issue of guardianship when you want to vote," said Williams.

People with disabilities of all ages are affected by accessibility at the polls, said Williams.

"There are many factors to take into consideration to accommodate people with disabilities such as the type of disability, the limitations involved for that person, and how to best serve the person requesting assistance," he said. "They also must know who can help and who can’t help a person cast a ballot, how to provide the requested assistance, how to make a non-accessible polling place accessible, and what an accessible polling station looks like."

This community conversation is presented by the Self-Advocates of Michigan, DD Council and Michigan Disability Services Alliance.

The training also will be held from 10 a.m. to noon on Tuesday at the Traverse Area District Library, located at 610 Woodmere Ave. in Traverse City. Other locations for the training are Boyne City, Lansing, East Tawas and Midland.

"Those who have disabilities or their friends need to understand that people with disabilities have the right to vote just like anybody else," said Kuenzer.

Advanced registration is required, visit

For more information or help registering, contact Rachel Bentley at or (517) 284-7290.