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INEC Launches Braille Ballot Guide for Visual Impairment Persons Ahead Osun Poll



Toba Adedeji


Independent National Electoral Commission has launched the braille ballot guide to assist visual impairment voters above the age of 18 to cast their ballot without support.


The braille ballot guide was launched at INEC media center in Osogbo, Osun State on Tuesday.

During the program, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Segun Agbaje said, "In bid for the commission to break every barriers during election process, we have deem it fit to provide braille ballot guide for voters with visual impairments to vote using the braille ballot guide.


Mr. Agbaje also promised that the commission will look to areas whereby people with disabilities will not have issues during election processes.

He said, "We are going to see how we will improve in making polling units accessible for people with disabilities against 2019 general elections but already we have work with our electoral officers at the local government areas to ensure that the lapses we saw in Ekiti State election doesn't repeat itself by ensuring that those people with disabilities are given attention during election.

He notes that, "The braille ballot guide is another step forward in the area to assist people with disabilities. We promised that the usage of the braille will be maintain by guiding people with disabilities on how to use it during Osun state governorship election and 2019 general elections.

The REC stated that it the  commission is committed to ensuring that persons with disabilities were not disenfranchised in Osun State poll and 2019 poll.


Also, the Executive Director of Inclusive Friends Association, Grace Jerry in her address said, "For the first time in our country's history, INEC would be piloting a braille ballot guide to assist voters with visual impairments to cast their ballot without any support in line with section 56 (2) of the 2010 Electoral Act, as amended, and Nigeria's secret ballot system.


She further said," The Access Nigeria campaign and its ally NAPVID worked closely with INEC to design and produce the Braille Ballot Guide for the Osun State Election pilot.


Mrs. Grace explained that, Braille Ballot Guide is an assistive material in braille that enables voters with visual impairments to cast their ballots by themselves. INEC has assured the Access Nigeria campaign that the lessons from Osun pilot would form the basis of full deployment of braille ballot guides or ballots during the 2019 general elections. The pilot of the braille ballot guide would take place at 150 sampled polling units. The Access Nigeria campaign in partnership with INEC would train voters with visual impairments on how to use the braille ballot guide on September 19, 2018.


She commended INEC for making elections to be accessible for people with disabilities.


She noted that, "The disability community is grateful to INEC for the giant steps taken so far to make our elections accessible for people with disabilities but believe there is a lot more to be done. While it is too late for INEC to implement the outstanding recommendations from Disability Votes Matter polling unit accessibility audit report during the Osun election.


While demonstrating the usage of the guide, president of Network for the Advancement of People with Visible Disabilities, Barr Melody Omosah noted that it is not a braille ballot but a guide to make sure that the visual impairments can use the regular ballot.


INEC Launches Braille Ballot Guide for Visual Impairment Persons Ahead Osun Poll INEC Launches Braille Ballot Guide for Visual Impairment Persons Ahead Osun Poll Reviewed by Toba Adedeji on 09:58 Rating: 5

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