Here’s How to Run for Office as a Person with a Disability
by Justin Bennett
Based on the CDC report, a fifth of Americans have a disability. On every level of government, both state and federal, people with disabilities are not well represented.
As a person with a disability who is considering running for office, you are uniquely qualified to overcome challenges. Your skills will be greatly appreciated by those who have disabilities during the campaign and eventually in office.
For a successful run, there are many considerations to make. Here are some tips to guide you along, presented by Cogentica.
Take Part in Political Campaign Training
Running for office can seem daunting despite having a team of experts behind you. There are many crucial decisions that you need to make right from the start.
Participating in a training program specifically for a political campaign is advisable. You will learn how to develop your campaign message, how to budget and generate funds, and how to build rapport with potential voters.
The National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) recently started a campaign training program for people with disabilities nationwide. During training, you will get equipped with the skills and confidence boost you need to run successfully.
Have an Accessible Campaign
Voters who have disabilities also face challenges. To ensure everyone gets included, your campaign platform should be easy to access.
Begin by getting together with potential voters and studying what they need. Being a person with a disability, you may be familiar with the types of barriers faced by people with disabilities within the community. Ensuring information and events are easy to access is simple. Your website and campaign materials should adhere to ADA regulations and accommodate people with different disabilities.
During campaign occasions, have supportive facilities such as wheelchair ramps. You can add someone to interpret sign language and delegated parking spaces.
Professionals to Hire on Your Team
A communications director is in charge of the communications team and reports to the campaign manager. They can handle all engagements with the media and press.
If you have a small campaign, the director deals with the press directly. For a larger campaign, the communications team provides information to journalists to ensure the campaign gets covered by the media.
They can assist with social media platforms and monitor web activity. This will ensure the campaign maintains an online presence and spreads the campaign’s message across multiple platforms. In case of any harmful or wrong information, the communications director you hire should be able to handle the situation.
The responsibilities of a finance director extend to generating and implementing the fundraising strategy. Finance directors liaise with campaign managers to establish achievable goals and strategize the necessary adjustments as the race continues.
As you plan your run for office, familiarize yourself with the needs of your community. Be open-minded, stand for what you advocate, and plan how to make a change.
To make you stand out, you can advance your credentials. For instance, you can earn an advanced degree to enhance your business, strategizing, and management skills. Enroll in an MBA program to learn more about leadership, self-assessment, and self-awareness.
Campaigning for office is challenging. As a person with a disability, it can be challenging. However, if you work with a supportive team, create a great platform, make your events accessible, and have a strong message, you can be on your way to elected office.