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1.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.
- 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?
Some political parties make campaign material of their parties accessible. When it comes to public voting for legislation etc, authorities make basic material enlightening the public accessible through the library for persons with reading difficulties (NOTA).
- Are special measures put in place to ensure that polling stations are accessible to VI people?
- Within polling stations, what measures are taken to ensure that VI people can exercise their rights in an autonomous and confidential manner?
Previously, VI persons were allowed to take a person entrusted by them into the polling booth to put the mark on the card. Nowadays, one has to additionally take two official voting officials into the booth to ensure that instructions on where to put the mark are followed. This is considered unsatisfactory and a violation of privacy principles.
- 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?
The persons under 1.4 may read aloud lists in order to inform Vi persons about options.
- Are their measures in place to assist VI people in the polling booths and when casting their vote in the urns?
Yes, see above.
- Are voting machines in place in your country? If yes, please detail how these are made accessible to VI people.
No not yet, but there will be in the future. Development is going slowly however, as issues on privacy, confidentiality; impartiality etc and experience from other countries hamper the introduction of electronic accessible methods.
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?
- Are their VI people in who have been elected to political, trade-union or associative office in your country?
Yes. There have every now and then been VI persons elected in working places or at other levels to work at admin level or other posts within such organizations or representative bodies.
- Do VI people in your country have unrestricted access to administrative office, including at top-level?
In principal yes. however, prejudice may still hinder otherwise suitable persons to acquire such high posts.
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.
There is one main organization of persons who are blind or severely low vision and that are fully controlled by VI persons, DAB. There is a youth organization of VI persons under the age of 36. Interest groups that consist mainly of VI persons and that receive economical support on top of membership fee payment: DAB Women, Interested group on employment and educational issues, rp group, guide dog interest group, swingers club etc.
- What is the role played by these associations in representing VI people?
Mainly advocacy work, pressure groups, people networking, exchanging experience and methodology etc. DAB has some small service provision and also undertakes a consultancy arrangement covering the 21 districts and moreover the guide dog services on behalf of the municipalities.
- How are VI people included in associations representing them?
They constitute the organizations, control them pay membership fees. Sighted persons may in a few cases be associated but with no decision power or influence.
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