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Braille voter IDs, among the many steps, announced by EC to make elections accessible!

In a significant step towards making elections in India inclusive, the Election Commission of India has launched voter identity cards with Braille label. The cards, called Electors Photo Identity Card (EPIC), will have Braille on it. This is one of the many ways the ECI wants to ensure greater participation of visually impaired and blind people in the electoral process.

The ECI has also launched a strategic framework on Accessible Elections. All this came at the end of a two-day national level consultation with representatives of the central government, political parties, NGOs and experts on disabilities.

Chief Election Commissioner O.P. Rawat announced a series of measures for people with disabilities. These include:

  • Printing of photo ID cards with Braille
  • Accessible communication awareness materials
  • A mobile phone app to motivate & educate the voters
  • Appointment of Disability Coordinates at the Assembly constituency, district and State levels.
  • Step by step training on accessibility to poll officials
  • Set up auxiliary polling stations
  • Provide accessible photo voter slips
  • Sign-language window in all audio visual training and advertisement content material for deaf people.
  • Free transport facility to people with disabilities and their assistants.

That is a lot of steps! Apart from this, a new Accessible Division in the India International Institute of Democracy and Electoral Management will also be set up.

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