The Board of Elections in the City of New York is pleased to host the Accessible Voting Advisory Committee (AVAC)
The purpose of the AVAC is to advise the NYC Board of Elections on accessibility issues in the electoral process and provide recommendations for improving access to voting in NYC for voters with disabilities. The AVAC is comprised of relevant staff from the NYC Board of Elections and members of the public. Through continued cooperation, the Board of Elections strives to build lasting partnerships within the community to ensure that all voters have access to the electoral process in New York City, including voters with disabilities.
For more information about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Unit at the Board of Elections in the City of New York: https://www.vote.nyc/page/accessibility
From the time Zachary Borodkin was very young, he has felt the effects of policies in education healthcare and voting rights. His work as a disability rights advocate has helped him understand the connection between disability and different areas of policy. Zachary has continued his advocacy with the goal of explaining accessibility in all aspects of culture.
Rasheta Bunting is a blind, single parent of two that resides in Brooklyn, N.Y. She’s a special educator, civic engagement organizer, entrepreneur and disability advocate. She’s a member of Disabled In Action, a co-coordinator with Downstate ADAPT and is the president of a local chapter with the National Federation of the Blind and partners with various disability advocacy groups throughout New York. She’s also a podcaster, where she addresses issues that plagues the disabled woman, while shining a positive light on disabled womanhood. She is also the president and co-founder of One Heart One Vision Inc, a grass roots 501C3 charitable organization that provides community service and support to blind and low vision women from underserved neighborhoods. She can be reached at: (718) 564-5077 or [email protected]
Seamus Campbell is a local community activist in Brooklyn who professionally works as a web developer for The City College of New York. Through his work, he has become an evangelist for assistive technologies and accessible web development and design. In the AVAC, Seamus hopes to help advise disabled New Yorkers of the ways the NYC Board of Elections is making voting easier. Seamus can be reached at s[email protected]
Kathy Collins, quadruple amputee who uses a wheelchair and, sometimes, prosthetic arms, is an attorney who retired from The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey after working there for thirty (30) years. She is on the board of Disabled In Action of Metropolitan New York, Inc., a co-coordinator for Downstate New York ADAPT, as well as a member of the Greater New York Council of the Blind, the Amputee Coalition of America and the League of Women Voters, New York City Chapter.
Debra and Christopher Greif
Debra and Christopher Greif are a mother and son advocate team. They advocate for families with developmental disabilities, transportation and especially making sure that the voting is truly accessible.
Ann Marie Johnson
Ann Marie Johnson is a strong advocate in facilitating a pro-social outreach with over 25 rewarding years in public/human service. As a black woman living with a disability the intersectionality of race, gender and disability issues are evident in her daily life. Ann Marie’s passion is to strive to educate and promote a world inclusive of ALL people. Ms. Johnson’s thesis in Maximizing Community Inclusion with Geriatric Individuals Diagnosed with a Developmental Disability earned her a Masters of Human Services from Lincoln University. Not only does Ann Marie work in the field of Disabilities, she is also an MS ambassador for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS), a member of the National MS Society Volunteer Hall of Fame, an active member of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Government & Disability Relation Committee, a member of the Black MS Experience Summit Advisory Committee and co-facilitate a monthly support group - Voices of MS. She is also a Governance Board member of IConquerMS.
In addition, Ann Marie’s story and advice on living with MS has been captured in several periodicals and social media outlets for example but not limited to: the NY Times, WebMD, Everyday Health, Yahoo Lifestyles, Heart and Soul, Above MS and NY Amsterdam News. In her free time she enjoys traveling and spending time with friends and family catching up on love, life, and shoes with a great glass of wine! Ann Marie can be contacted at [email protected]
Terence B. Page has been the President of the Greater New York Council of the Blind (A chapter of the American Council of the Blind of New York) for the last 6 years. He is also a Co-Coordinator of Downstate New York ADAPT. A former poll worker, he is currently a member of the NAACP (Mid-Manhattan Chapter), a member of the League of Women’s Voters (New York City Chapter) and a Disability Election Consultant.
While living in Manhattan he continues to perfect his skills as a writer, poet, sculptor and musician.
Eman Rimawi-Doster is a Black and Palestinian woman, born and raised in NYC. For 25 years, she’s been organizing around diversity, equity and inclusion in disenfranchised communities, while using art, writing, fashion, creativity and organizing. She learned the ins and outs of what it means to take action and have integrity from her parents. She has made it her life’s mission to change the things that need a push in a more inclusive direction. Her father wanted her to change the things she saw wrong and she does with everything she touches.
She went on to teach creative writing, community organizing, and political science workshops to youth in the city. She’s been focused on organizing around disability rights and the intersectionality of it within every aspect of life. She has worked for over several dozen non-profits since 1999 and has been committed to the community since.
Eman is the Executive Director of the Harlem Independent Living Center. She is committed to educating people on the interconnectedness of disability within multiple communities. Life doesn’t end when you have a disability. In addition to advocating for better paratransit, she’s also involved in several projects around universal design of buildings in NYC, she’s an artistic consultant with D.C. comics and Skybound, speaks at conferences about equity and inclusion for all people with disabilities and she’s the funniest person you’ll ever meet.
Michael has lived his entire life in Brooklyn except for the time he had to leave to earn his Master's in Social Welfare from Stony Brook University. In 2014, while preparing for his 20th New York City Marathon, he developed Guillain-Barre syndrome and was rendered almost completely paralyzed. He used a wheelchair for about a year and, although he can currently walk, uses ankle foot orthotics. He is now training for his 25th New York City Marathon with the assistance of Achilles International. As a result of his partial paralysis, it will take him twice as long to complete the race.
Michael is currently on the Board of Directors of Disabled in Action of Metropolitan New York. He is a co-coordinator of the Transportation and Voter Accessibility committees for the Downstate New York chapter of ADAPT.
Michael is looking forward to returning to his roots in social welfare to help make our city more accommodating for its disabled population.
Using my life experience as a DeafBlind Black man, I started Marc Safman Consulting to help move Inclusion beyond parades and panels. I discuss disability issues not from a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) perspective but through Sustainability and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) because Accessibility provides the roadmap to sustainable economic growth that lifts everyone up. I believe this is a more positive solutions focused approach than the typical DEI consultant takes because I recognize that it is necessary to institutionalize Meaningful Access to Effective Accommodations in order to facilitate meaningful conversations about journeys and representation. Lately have been discussing DeafBlind Inclusion in areas of Disabled employment protections, Accessible Pedestrian Signals (APS), workforce development, Opera, Community engagement (mining and real estate construction), traveling, sports and campaigns and elections
In 2021, I helped start New York DeafBlind Advocates, a network of New Yorkers living with deafblindness. Our current efforts are focused on creating a New York Funded Statewide coNavigator Program to help our community live independently. We hope to create a stronger deafblind community and increase awareness about our unique culture. Marc Safman can be contacted at [email protected] LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/marcsafman/.
Jade Smith has been a professional Disability Advocate for over 15 years and has contributed to bettering the lives of others in many ways from providing direct support for the ID/DD to managing their residential homes as well as supervising medication administration at Assisted Living Facilities. Currently Jade is serving the community as an Independent Living Specialist and Voting Engagement Organizer and Advocate at the Staten Island Center for Independent Living. In her free time she enjoys health and wellness activities and spending time with her family. Jade can be reached at [email protected]