Webinar Series: Administering Elections in Europe During a Pandemic

A poll worker looks at a set of ballot boxes during Ukraine's 2019 presidential election.

“Democracy works when all people have a voice in how they are governed.”¹ Unfortunately, many persons with disabilities² are excluded from equal access to electoral and political processes. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it more difficult for persons with disabilities to be included due to restrictions of movement imposed by governments, a higher risk of being immunocompromised and a reduction in everyday, in-person interactions that serve as a primary tool for exchanging information and socializing.

Given the numerous barriers and risks that persons with disabilities face during the COVID-19 crisis, there is an even greater need for awareness and innovative measures to facilitate equal access to political participation and information during elections. To learn more about how to build an inclusive community and democracy during the pandemic, join the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and experts from Europe to discuss how to increase inclusion of persons with disabilities in the electoral process. This webinar will focus on innovative approaches for persons with disabilities to equally participate during the upcoming elections scheduled across the region and practical recommendations for administering inclusive elections.

The event will be moderated by Magnus Ohman, IFES director for the Regional Europe Office, and feature the following speakers:

  • Virginia Atkinson, Senior Global Inclusion Advisor, IFES
  • Mariam Mikiashvili, Deputy Director, No 202 School for Blind and Visually Impaired Children, Georgia
  • Seinep Dyikanbaeva, Program Manager, Public Organization of Parents of Children with Disabilities ARDI, Kyrgyzstan
  • Yuliia Sachuk, Civil Activist and NGO Coordinator, Fight for Right, Ukraine<
  • Gaël Martin-Micallef, Legal Advisor, Venice Commission, Italy

In line with the previous three installments of the webinar series, the event will be held live via Zoom and feature simultaneous interpretation from English into Armenian, Georgian, Macedonian, Russian, South Slavic language and American Sign Language, as well as sign language in Armenian, Georgian, Macedonian and Russian.

Due to a recent update of Zoom, you must update your Zoom app to see all the interpretation languages available. To do that, open the Zoom app and click on your account in the top right corner and select “check for updates.” Then follow the easy steps for updating your Zoom app. For more information, read "Guidance for Joining an IFES Webinar on Zoom."

Please sign up in the form below and let us know if you need any reasonable accommodations.

Session 4: How to Build a Democracy That’s Designed for All? Promoting Access and Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities


Thursday, September 24, 14:00-15:30 CET/8:00-9:30 a.m. EDT

¹ "How to Ensure People with Disabilities Are Included in Political Life During COVID-19"

² According to the United Nations policy brief, A Disability-Inclusive Response to COVID-19, there are 1 billion persons with disabilities.

Return to the main page | COVID-19: A Survival Guide for Democracies
Illustration of a voter wearing latex gloves and casting a ballot

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