skip navigation

Transitions in Aging

Community Participation

How to Participate in Civic Engagement

Photo of seniors using a computer

  • It is our right to vote!
  • Public libraries can be used for computer access
  • Local municipal offices offer resources
  • Reach out to caregivers and support people


NEXT: Volunteer Activities


Notes and References

When we get older, we may run into challenges when trying to advocate for ourselves, or when voting and volunteering.



Polling places where we vote may not be physically accessible or we may lack the support necessary to volunteer for local agencies. Finally, we may not be familiar with technology and other resources that can help us participate in civic engagement. For example, if we would like to write to a local congressman about certain issues or create blog pages to advocate for disability rights, we need skills and knowledge about technology to do so. So, if we encounter these challenges, how can we overcome them?

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act and other federal laws, everyone has the right to vote for elected officials.1,2 Therefore, polling places are required to be physically accessible and they are required by law to offer some type of support for those who need it.1 If you have any questions about disability rights, visit Disability Rights Pennsylvania, at www.drnpa.org.

Second, if we would like to search for information online, but do not have a computer at home, we can always visit the public library or check local municipal offices for resources. We might be able to find a great deal of useful information online, such as lessons about advocating for ourselves, or information about volunteer opportunities in the community. Finally, do not hesitate to ask for help! Our family, friends and support staff are there to help whenever we need it. We can also ask librarians how to use the computer in finding information about civic engagement.

References:

  1. Kingston, L. N. (2014). Political participation as a disability rights issue. Disability and Health Journal, 7, 259-261.
  2. U.S. Department of Justice. (2014) The Americans with Disabilities Act and other Federal Laws Protecting the Rights of Voters with Disabilities. Retrieved from http://www.ada.gov/ada_voting/ada_voting_ta.htm