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  September 2020
Give Me Five:

Five things you need to know
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Check out ARI's COVID-19 Resource Page for updated info & resources! For COVID-19 related assistance (including PPE), contact Audrey Sellers, our resident COVID-19 Response Coordinator, at (443) 713-3915 or
1.) "To Vote is to Exist"

Have questions about voting this year?

There are a lot of changes in this year's election process due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
That's why Accessible Resources for Independence has developed this simple step-by-step guide that contains important dates and information for voter registration, mail-in voting, and in-person voting in Maryland.

Don't wait! This year, it's important to make a voting plan that works for you and ensure your voice is heard!

Prefer to talk with someone? Contact the Maryland State Board of Elections at:
(410) 269-2840 or (800) 222-8683 |


Tuesday, October 13, 2020
Deadline to register to vote
Register to Vote:

Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Deadline to request a mail-in ballot
Request Ballot:

Monday, October 26, 2020 to Monday, November 2, 2020
Early voting period
Find Your Polling Place:

November 3, 2020
Independence Amplified Maryland (I AM)  flyer with maryland flag design

Check out these upcoming events and follow us on Facebook to stay up-to-date on everything we're doing! Click on the links below for more info about these events.

Register now to tune in next Monday, September 14th from 2-3pm for I AM's National Disability Legislation Alert! Hear from national disability organizations about their current legislative initiatives and how you can make your voices heard. Representatives from the National Council On Independent Living, The National Federation of the Blind, National ADAPT, and other disability organizations discuss current actions they are taking and how you can be a part of the solution. This will be a fast and action-packed with information and a call to action if the voices of people with disabilities are going to be heard in these critical times. This is part of a weekly series, so visit the Facebook page for more information on future sessions!

Register now for an Assistive Technology Program Primer on Wednesday, September 23rd from 1-2PM! Are you interested in what ARI's Assistive Technology Program could offer you or your loved one with a disability? If so, don't miss this primer on our very own assistive technology program, which includes grants for personal AT items, ramp loans, Maryland Accessible Telecommunications Program evaluations, and information and referral. Got questions? This week's host, AT Program Manager Betsy Hein, will be happy to help you!

Register now for an update on changes to MTA services in Anne Arundel and Howard Counties on Wednesday, September 30th from 1-2pm. Join ARI to learn from transit experts about how MTA’s proposed service changes - due to start in January 2021 - would impact Anne Arundel and Howard County communities. Public virtual hearings for MTA’s proposed changes begin the following week. Use your personal power to speak up for your own transit needs and those of the disability community! While questions will be taken at the event, you may also send your questions in advance by clicking here.

To request information, accommodations, or alternate materials for events, please contact Audrey at (443) 713-3915 or
abstract image of racially diverse individuals working, studying, and talking together3.) Anti-Racism Updates

Can't rest, can't rest, won't rest
Believin' in the process
Every day's a progress
Slow steps
(Excerpt from song "Can't Stop, Won't Stop" by Meekz)

In August, ARI planned! In September, we assess. Intrigued? Read on...

After some discussion on next steps, ARI determined that our best path forward could only be determined by BIPOC (black, Indigenous, & people of color) individuals with disabilities who have significant experience living within our jurisdiction, which encompasses both Anne Arundel and Howard Counties. In order to collect feedback from our jurisdiction's BIPOC disability community about how we can best integrate anti-racism into our organizational culture and services, we will hold a focus group on that topic in September. Last week, we finalized our list of BIPOC consumers who have agreed to provide input. While recruiting, we made sure to include individuals with varied characteristics and life experiences. All focus group members will be compensated for their time, energy, and expertise. This compensation will be equal for each participant. After the focus group is completed, ARI will analyze the feedback to develop a draft action plan. This draft will then be shared with the original focus group participants, who will again be paid to provide feedback. After this second focus group meeting, ARI will make the appropriate revisions and finalize the plan. Then, full steam ahead!

Would you like to do your own anti-racist deep dive? The Diversity and Resilience Institute of El Paso has again offered its well-regarded Anti-Racism Training, and it's free to the general public! Registration starts on 9/15 at 8am CST.
a cell phone with a red wallpaper that says "9-1-1 CALL IF YOU CAN, TEXT IF YOU CAN'T"4.) Text-to-911 Available!

Text your mom to tell her this: Maryland has officially "leveled up" with their new Text-to-911 capability! Text-to-911 is for people who have a disability impairing communication, or people who are in a situation unsafe for placing a voice-call, or people who are unable to speak due to a medical emergency. Still, when you need to contact 911, emergency personnel prefer that you call if possible. For learn how to use Text-to-911, watch this informational video.
A fist raised in the air with the words fight the undercount.
5.) Be Counted!

The 2020 Census is underway. Data collected in the census will inform the distribution of more than $675 billion in federal funds to states and communities each year for the next 10 years for things like health care, food assistance, and infrastructure. It’s important that we all respond to shape the future of our communities. Learn more and respond to the census today at 2020CENSUS.GOV.