THE RIGHT TO VOTE AND BE ELECTED.
- Do visually impaired (hereafter VI) people suffer any restrictions to their rights to vote and/or to be elected? If yes, give details.
Apart from blindness itself, we are not aware of any such restriction.
- During election campaigns what measures are taken to ensure that VI people are ensured full autonomy concerning the availability of information distributed by candidates, access to pre-electoral meetings, access to different campaign media?
We are aware neither of any such measures, nor for a demand for them. People are more likely tired by politics-related information rather than looking for some more.
- Are special measures put in place to ensure that polling stations are accessible to VI people?
An impaired person may ask to get the ballot box be brought to him/her and does not need to come to the polling station at all. In the event he/she decides to vote at ordinary polling station, he/she may be accompanied by a guide/assistant, though its his/her responsibility to find one. In neither case may the assistance be provided by a member of polling committee (i.e. should a VI person need help with checking the proper checkbox or picking a proper ballot, he/she may either get a guide, or try to rely on strangers, but he/she will not be assisted by a return officer).
- Within polling stations, what measures are taken to ensure that VI people can exercise their rights in an autonomous and confidential manner?
There are no such measures.
In the case of proportional elections (by lists of candidates), what measures are taken to ensure that VI people can exercise their rights in an autonomous and confidential manner?
There are no such measures. Obtaining a guide/assistant is the only supported measure, though it qualifies neither for autonomy, nor for confidentiality. One may in theory use scanner to get the proper ballot, but there is no way how to check the proper checkbox.
- Are their measures in place to assist VI people in the polling booths and when casting their vote in the urns?
No. Apart from a guide/assistant.
- Are voting machines in place in your country? If yes, please detail how these are made accessible to VI people.
No, there are no such machines in place here.
2. PARTICIPATION IN NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATIONS AND ASSOCIATIONS CONCERNED WITH THE PUBLIC AND POLITICAL LIFE OF THE COUNTRY, AND IN THE ACTIVITIES AND ADMINISTRATION OF POLITICAL PARTIES.
- Can VI people in your country participate in an unrestricted manner in political parties, unions, public and political organisations and associations?
As far as we are concerned they can, in full.
- Are their VI people in who have been elected to political, trade-union or associative office in your country?
Yes, we know of a senator, local authority member, Government Board for People with Disabilities chair, etc., and are not aware of any imposed restriction regarding electability.
- Do VI people in your country have unrestricted access to administrative office, including at top-level?
We believe they do have, though we cannot point at too many individuals, who would reach such a position.
3. FORMING AND JOINING ORGANISATIONS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES.
- Please give an overview of the number/type of associations or organisations representing VI people in your country.
The (by far) biggest organisation associating and representing VI people is SONS („Czech Blind United“ in English, „Sjednocená organizace nevidomých a slabozrakých ČR“ in full in Czech). It cooperates with organisations representing people with other impairment, including their umbrella organisation. SONS is also in close contact with the Government Board for People with Disabilities.
- What is the role played by these associations in representing VI people?
SONS together with its filial organisations provides comments during lawmaking, supports (and helps) standards production, deals with collections and fund raising, publicity, including education, etc.
- How are VI people included in associations representing them?
They may be (and are) both members and/or employees.