The Observatory

VisAbility becomes an accessible polling station

The VisAbility building in Victoria Park in Perth is one of seventy venues throughout WA to be selected as a voting station as well as an early voting centre in the WA state general election.

The date of the state election is the 13 March with early voting offered a fortnight before.

It’s a first for the NDIS provider which offers support to people who are blind or vision impaired, and which has been established for more than a hundred years.

Perfect location to cast your vote

Early voting is popular with seniors and people with disabilities with as many as 25% voting early ahead of the crowds.

The polling booths will be in VisAbility’s Handa Hall, which is a large gymnasium area.

Manager Specialist Services Dinesh Burah says VisAbility is proud to be supporting the state election to make it more inclusive and accessible.

‘’VisAbility is close to accessible transport, and our building has wide aisles to accommodate wheelchairs. We’re opposite a train station, so conveniently placed for this. Our Access experts have also been involved in developing Vote Assist software to make it more accessible,’’ he says.

Vote assist technology

Vote Assist allows electors who visit a limited number of selected venues to listen to candidates’ names, pre-recorded voting instructions and other necessary ballot paper information. A special numeric keyboard is linked to audio headphones, so people can select their preferences and hear options. The vote cast is self-printed before it’s then lodged in the ballot box.

VisAbility Braille Officer Leone Carroll has been providing Braille transcription on the large print instructions chart. She’s also been working on a Braille poster for ‘menu options’ for voters using this Vote Assist service. Braille wording is placed on the large print laminated posters and will be situated in the voting area, so people can refer to them when they cast their vote.

CCTV magnifiers will also be made available at selected polling stations to assist people with low vision to magnify documents as and when required.

VisAbility has also been involved in narrating the candidate list in its recording studios for Vote Assist. There are more than 700 candidates standing in the state election.

It’s the third time the Australian Electoral Commission has called on VisAbility’s expertise to make voting accessible. It’s widely anticipated that 2,200 electors throughout WA will opt for assisted voting.

For more information on accessible voting, early voting or the WA State election visit the Assisted Voting Guide.

If you’d like to find out more about how VisAbility can help with your access requirements, contact Dinesh Burah and the team at

Originally published at