Julie McKinney, MS
November 3, 2022

Why my one vote has the power to help children with disabilities

Voting Issues for Parents & Guardians of Children with Disabilities Can be Different Than Others. Here is What Voting Looks Like For Us.

I voted today! (Yes, today!) I got my ballot in the mail that I requested weeks ago, and I filled it out and brought it to the election drop box in my town. (The official, secure one at my Local Election Office.) And it feels really good. I feel like I have taken part in a process that gives us all a voice. I feel like I have done what I can to choose the best people. People who I think will run this country and my state in a way that will benefit my family and others.

My family and others. Both are very important. 

Why my family?

I have a son who relies heavily on state funding for Medicaid and services for people with disabilities. After years of specialized schooling, he is about to turn 22 and embark on a new path. This path will be easier and more fulfilling because of the state’s support for housing, health services, and community programs for people with disabilities. 

My vote will help to ensure that the people elected to run my state (and the US) are the ones I think will help keep these support programs running.

Another son is applying to college and one is looking for a job in an economy that has been transformed by the effects of the coronavirus. Both of their futures will be affected by how our leaders support public safety, affordable higher education, healthcare and the job market.

Why others?

There are so many people in my town, in my state, and in the U.S. who have much greater needs than I. Yes, I vote for the candidates and initiatives that I trust will serve my family’s needs. But I also vote for those who will serve the needs of people who I don’t know. People have lost jobs and homes; children are hungry; too many have no health insurance and too many need mental health support. Heartbreaking numbers have struggled with opioid addiction or gotten sick with COVID-19. Millions are experiencing the traumatic effects of racism.

My one vote may seem small but it is one thing I can do to help elect leaders who will make things better for everyone. 

  • Julie McKinney, MS

    Director of Product Content and Health Literacy Specialist

    Julie McKinney is a health literacy expert with extensive experience writing and revising health information for audiences with lower literacy skills. She has a BS from Brown University and an MS from Northeastern. As a parent of a child with a disability, Julie also has a personal understanding of the barriers that complex health information presents, and a heartfelt appreciation for information that is easy to understand and use.

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