Voting is the pinnacle of the “3 Cs”
Here at Chimes we often talk about the “3 C’s” — Choice, Capability and Community.
Those three values inform everything we do. They are the touchstones to which we return over and over again as we seek to serve individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities, behavioral challenges, and more.
The 3 Cs remind us that we’re here to help people achieve three main goals:
- to live as independently as possible, guided by choice.
- to understand, respond to and achieve the potential of their capabilities.
- to serve as productive, contributing members of their community.
Sometimes those goals can seem vague.
But sometimes they are crystal clear — like when we work to ensure that the people we serve can exercise their right to vote.
It is through the simple act of making one’s political voice heard that all Americans make their choice, to the best of their capability, in order to support their community.
Yet throughout American history, the rights of people with disabilities to vote have often been questioned. Even today, thousands of people are denied that right in multiple states across the union.
We take voting seriously here at Chimes, and work to make sure everyone we serve is able to participate in elections.
That’s why we hosted a voter-registration event for members of the Chimes family in July. Our focus was on teaching individuals with disabilities about their right to vote, the “reasonable accommodations” that are required under the law, and to offer a basic introduction to voting.
Some 60 people served by Chimes attended. Since then about 20 of them have registered to vote in the upcoming election.
“The event was a great success and the feedback I received was overwhelmingly positive. Everyone was enthusiastic and eager to learn how they can vote this November,” said Doug Smith, deputy director of employment services at Chimes. “There is a lot of legislation that affects the disability community, it’s important that we teach people how to use their voice and make them aware of the reasonable accommodations that are available.”
If you or a loved one are interested in learning more about how people with disabilities can exercise their voting rights, visit https://disabilityrightsmd.org/voting/
Or you may want to attend the 2018 Gubernatorial Candidates Forum, hosted by the Maryland Disabilities Forum, on Oct. 5 from 1:30 to 3:30 at the Hyatt Regency Baltimore Harbor.
Contact the Maryland Disabilities forum at 443-539-0178 for more information.