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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

The NCIL Voting Rights Task Force Needs Your Help: Tell Pew to Include People with Disabilities in Polling Data!

Nothing About Us Without Us 2012 signThe Voting Rights Task Force is writing to ask all NCIL members for help.

One of the issues our group has identified is the fact that people with disabilities are not formally included in election polling. Our first effort was to contact the Pew Research Center. Pew conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research.

The methodology used in these polls discriminates against people with disabilities and deprives them of the opportunity to participate fully in the political process.

Without this polling data, candidates, campaigns, and the news media do not see us as important. By contrast, the Pew Research Center has determined and assigned value to the views of other groups, such as African Americans, Hispanics, women, people of different ages, and people with differing income and educational levels.

When contacted by the NCIL Voting Rights Task Force, Pew declined to even discuss the issue. That brings us to the present.

National Public Radio (NPR) purchases the right to utilize the polls developed by the Pew Research Group. We have written them a letter requesting to meet with them to discuss this issue. We feel that as an organization that benefits from federal funding, NPR has a responsibility to use polls that reflect the views of people with disabilities.

Moreover, insisting on more comprehensive polling data would truly fulfill NPR’s mission “to create a more informed public – one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas and cultures”.

We have not heard from them yet. We are asking all of you to contact Gary Knell, President and CEO of NPR, at (202) 513-3232 and encourage him to meet with us to discuss the inclusion of people with disabilities.

We are strong because of our shared experiences. So let’s see some of that strength now and let them know we are important and will be included!

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