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August 2020 Newsletter

August 26, 2020

Advocacy Watch

People with disabilities must be able to cast their vote safely during the pandemic and feel confident that their vote will be counted. Our elected officials are meeting in September to make changes to election rules during the pandemic. We believe the general assembly should consider the following changes:

  • Permit all South Carolinian’s to vote absentee
  • Eliminating the requirement for a witness signature on absentee ballots
  • Authorize ballot drop boxes in every county
  • Extend the time counties have to count ballots that came in by mail.

If you want to ensure the safety of voters during the General Election, tell your legislators! You can find your representatives and their contact information here: https://www.scstatehouse.gov/legislatorssearch.php.

New Covid-19 Education Resource

P&A has produced a new resource for parents called “Questions and Answers on Covid-19 and 2020/2021 Special Education in Public School”. Covid-19 has posed challenging issues for parents and schools districts as districts work to reopen to educate students safely and parents work through returning their children back to school. Questions and concerns have been and will be raised as students with disabilities eligible for an IEP return to school for the 2020/2021 school year in light of Covid-19. It will be very important for families and school districts to continue to have good communication regarding information, questions, and concerns. This fact sheet provides general information, suggestions and tips, but cannot account for individualized circumstances. School districts in South Carolina will vary in return to school options, vocabulary, and policies. Be sure to check with your school district for these specifics. This fact sheet does not constitute legal advice. As information changes with Covid-19, the information in this fact sheet is subject to change. The most important thing you can do is keep the lines of communication open with your school district and raise any questions or concerns you may have.

New Video on Voting During the Pandemic

P&A and the SC DisAbilty Voting Coalition has produced a new video on voting safely during the pandemic. The video reviews how to apply for and vote by absentee ballots.

Covid-19 Resources

Everything has been constantly changing during the pandemic making it hard to find correct or up-to-date information. P&A is continuing to update our Covid-19 resource page. If you have questions about things that are not on this page feel free to reach out to us at [email protected]

Staff Spotlight

Mary Stevenson has been at P&A since 2015. She currently works as an advocate on the Employment team helping clients primarily with complaints against Vocational Rehabilitation and the Commission for the Blind, assisting with employment discrimination cases, and barriers to work. She also serves as the intake specialist for Deaf and Hard-of-hearing callers and helps develop videos describing P&A services in American Sign Language (ASL). When not working Mary loves to read, go for long runs, and bake.

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