Kyle Spading is a person with a disability from Fairfax, Iowa. He attended the 2016 caucuses, and shared his experience.
“The caucus was hell,” Kyle said of getting into the caucus room, “they led me through the back kitchen area.”
The caucus was overcrowded, and the main entrance was inaccessible to Kyle in his wheelchair. He and his family had to go around the back of the building and enter through a back door. Kyle and his family had a difficult time maneuvering through the door, because the thresholds were rough on his chair.
“Access should be something people plan for,” Kyle said, “the caucus should be at a location that everyone can enter with ease.”
Like many other caucus-goers with disabilities, Kyle expressed his disappointment at the lack of disability awareness shown by caucus staff. He said that he was never spoken to directly by the caucus staff, who instead only communicated with his family when helping him access the caucus site.
Because of experiences like Kyle’s, Disability Rights Iowa has worked to meet with both major political parties to make the February 3, 2020 caucuses accessible. It is important that the disability community is involved in a continual effort for access.