United States Attorney’s Office Supports Advocacy Day for Access and Independence and Accessible Polling Places
(STL.News) – United States Attorney Peter M. McCoy, Jr., announced today that in its continued efforts to support the commitments in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the U.S. Attorney’s Office participated in Advocacy Day for Access and Independence.
This annual event was led by Able SC, which is a Center for Independent Living organization, a consumer-controlled, community-based, cross-disability nonprofit that provides an array of independent living services to people of all ages with all types of disabilities. Its mission includes empowering people with disabilities to live active and self-determined lives. Traditionally held on the South Carolina State House grounds, this year Able SC Executive Director Kimberly Tissot, Director of Advocacy Robbie Kopp, and the Able SC staff conducted the event virtually through Facebook and YouTube. State legislators, officials, and activists from the disability community spoke about the barriers that South Carolinians with disabilities regularly face and the ways they can be remedied.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Rob Sneed spoke on behalf of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. AUSA Sneed’s remarks focused on the Department of Justice’s unflagging support for and enforcement of the ADA. Sneed highlighted how 2020 marks the 30th Anniversary of the ADA. He also discussed the ADA Voting Initiative, which was launched in 2015 by the DOJ Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The initiative’s goal is to ensure that people with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate in the voting process. DOJ and other U.S. Attorney Offices have opened several investigations across the country to survey whether barriers to access exist. In South Carolina in recent years, the U.S. Attorney’s Office surveyed polling places in Richland and Anderson Counties and has ADA Polling Place Agreements in place with these entities.
“People with disabilities who live in South Carolina deserve equal access to polling places, and we are committed to making sure that they have it,” said U.S. Attorney McCoy.
The year 2020 marks the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Justice Department plays a central role in advancing the nation’s goal of equal opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for people with disabilities. The Justice Department will continue to use its enforcement and technical assistance tools to eliminate unlawful discrimination against individuals with disabilities.
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