Make Your Vote Count

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Make Your Vote Count

Chris Hayes, who is Deaf, highlights the lack of political awareness surrounding Deaf and hard of hearing individuals, and the general misconceptions about the community. Putting things directly, Chris states: “Politicians, in general, don’t have a lot of awareness or education on Deaf or hard of hearing people… Perhaps they’ve never envisioned what that can look like because they always think of hard of hearing people as being old senior citizen individuals and there’s such a variety of Deaf and hard of hearing people and what they look like and what they need.”

Chris continues: “Politicians just don’t know what our struggle is every day, they don’t know our daily struggle.” This is exactly why Chris is advocating for himself and other Deaf and hard of hearing individuals:

“It’s great to be able to let them know what our struggles are and what our needs are – the multifaceted pieces to us as people.”

For Chris, part of taking that action is casting his ballot for politicians who he believes in will support his community. He explains, “If there’s someone that makes a comment that isn’t good for the Deaf people I can vote for someone else. If I know there’s a candidate who has comments that are going to be great for the Deaf community, they’re going to get my vote.” Chris doesn’t expect politicians to always have all the answers right away, pointing out that at the very least, they should make an effort. As he puts it, if they don’t know enough about Deaf issues, they should “pull the right people from that group, the Deaf community to inform them on the topic.”

Chris concludes by stressing the importance of voting, and his belief that if you don’t participate in the process then you shouldn’t complain about outcomes you don’t like. He reminds everyone that voting is a way to advocate for the issues you care about:

“The best way to convince somebody is to go ahead and make your vote count.”

To learn more about voting, and to have all of your questions answered in American Sign Language (ASL) you can visit the National Association of the Deaf’s ASL Voter Hotline page or call 301-818-VOTE.

Tell Us Your Voting Story

Voters with disabilities, share you story! What issues motivate you?