Having recently moved from Gisborne Victoria to Sandy Bay Tasmania it was necessary to update my electoral information and change my address with the AEC.
I went to their website at the change address page but soon found it was inaccessible to me.
For some strange reason they had decided to make the form a PDF file – completely unnecessary in my opinion. They should have used a normal standard plain HTML form which would have worked perfectly for me.
It is quite possible to achieve everything needed in a HTML form and such forms can be made completely accessible to the blind with our screen readers.
So that is the first accessibility problem and the AEC has been contacted. I will update with any changes.
The next problem is one of proof of identity. My wife who is sighted has a driver’s license and used that as proof of her identity and submitted the form electronically. Nothing more was required from her.
Obviously I don’t have a driver’s license so used my passport asoof of my identity. Now a passport is harder to obtain, has more security checks inherent in it, and is to my mind at least a far better and more reliable form of identity than a drivers license.
However it seems the AEC disagrees. If you use your passport you have to print out the form, physically sign it and physically mail it back. This is just plain crazy and discriminatory. I can’t use the drivers license proof and as a consequence I have to go to far greater lengths and get someone who is sighted to help me. This is just unfair!
Come on AEC – improve your processes and make it easier for us with disabilities.