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?
NGOs of blind and visually impaired play an active role in it – they organise meetings etc. The official agencies and the national election commission is responsible on providing information in accessible format (if asked). As many VI people in Estonia can use computers, the information in electronic format is easily accessible for them.
- Are special measures put in place to ensure that polling stations are accessible to VI people?
VI can vote using a personal trusted assistance. More and more VI people are preferring to use e-voting via the Internet at their homes or organisations.
Within polling stations, what measures are taken to ensure that VI people can exercise their rights in an autonomous and confidential manner?
See the answer 1.3
- 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?
See answer 1.3. However, if asked, the lists could be provided in Braille but this is not common.
- Are their measures in place to assist VI people in the polling booths and when casting their vote in the urns?
See answer 1.3.
Are voting machines in place in your country? If yes, please detail how these are made accessible to VI people.
No voting machines yet.
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?
- Do VI people in your country have unrestricted access to administrative office, including at top-level?
Yes – at least by law there are no restrictions.
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 an umbrella organisation – the Estonian Federation of the Blind which has 16 member organisations (regional and local organisations of the blind or organisations in specific field like guide dogs etc). All those organisations are non-profit non-governmental organisations.
In addition there are a couple of organisations of the blind which are not the members of Estonian Federation of the Blind.
- What is the role played by these associations in representing VI people?
According to the statute, the Estonian Federation of the Blind represents the interests of VI people at national level; the regional organisations at local level. There is tight co-operation between organisations.
- How are VI people included in associations representing them?
VI people are included on their free will – they just have to fill in an application form and pay a symbolic membership fee.