Officials still blind to voting needs of disabled?

Demand for form-7A to be made available as text document to help visually-challenged still pending

Published: 06th April 2021 05:08 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th April 2021 10:18 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: Activists for differently-abled persons have been struggling for five years to make form-7A on the election commission website accessible to visually-challenged citizens to cast their vote independently.The document, which contains details of the candidate’s name, photo, party, symbol and other details is currently available as an image document on

The image cannot be accessed by visually-challenged voters on the screen. If available as a text document, screen readers can read out the form to visually-challenged individuals to communicate the displayed text, thereby giving them access to cast their vote. 

“This is a move that requires no time or cost. Delhi CEO had made the gazette accessible to such individuals two years ago. At least this can be implemented here,” said Vaishnavi Jayakumar of Disability Rights Alliance, India. The Braille print out of form-7A at every booth is mostly available in English and not in Tamil, she added. Moreover, the population that can read Braille has been shrinking due to the availability of other technology aids that can convert text to speech.

“Now, if someone doesn’t understand Braille, they would have no option other than letting another person assist them and cast their vote,” said Vaishnavi. However, in this mode, there is no way of knowing if the assisting person has indeed cast their vote for the candidate picked by the said voter. Responding to such claims, the ECI accessibility officer on Monday said the constituency-wise list of candidates in order, can be accessed from “Not many people are aware of this list,” the officer said. “Officials have promised that a soft copy of the form will be made available soon,” Vaishnavi said. 

Follow The New Indian Express channel on WhatsApp


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp