Detroit Disability Power

STPP is honored to partner with Detroit Disability Power (DDP). DDP’s mission is to leverage and build the organizing and political power of the disability community to ensure the full inclusion of people with disabilities in Metro Detroit. The Ford School's Science, Technology, and Public Policy (STPP) Program and DDP will be working on projects together in the areas of (1) voting accessibility, (2) equal employment opportunities and online hiring systems, and (3) security and safety in the context of weather emergencies and other climate change-related disasters.

Detroit Disability Power logo: A swirled shape in a rainbow of colors, next to the words Detroit Disability Power

While our work is tailored to each project, we expect to produce technology and policy landscape analyses as well as social, equity, and economic impact assessments of the technologies. We will also produce policy briefs and other materials to support DDP's advocacy. For the voting project, for example, we are working with DDP to understand the problems that people with disabilities face while voting in-person; in 2020 voters with disabilities were nearly twice as likely as nondisabled voters to report difficulties with voting. Our research team will analyze and compare the three types of Voter Assist Terminals (VAT) used in Michigan, and investigate both local VAT selection processes and the logistics related to machine maintenance and poll worker training. We will then provide DDP with recommendations on the most accessible VAT and how to advocate for them (and other voting supports for people with disabilities) in the City of Detroit and at the state level.

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