September 20 2022 Tampa, FL and Virtual

Where: Hybrid

  • In-person event in Tampa, FL at Embassy Suites USF
  • Virtual on Zoom

When: September 20, 2022 9am to 2pm

What: Join the Access the Vote Florida coalition to discuss important disability voting issues. We will have a keynote speaker, a variety of panels featuring people with disabilities and election accessibility experts, and opportunities to learn more about our coalition’s efforts to make our elections more accessible for all. Don’t miss Keynote Speaker Emily Voorde!

Registration Information:

This is a hybrid event, meaning there will be options to attend in person or virtually through Zoom.

Speakers & Panelists


Attend the summit and learn about voting with a disability from our panels. Click on each button to learn more about the panel and panelists.

Keynote Speaker: Emily Voorde

Emily Voorde. She has light skin, blonde hair, wears a pink shirt, jeans and brown sandals, and uses a wheelchair. She smiles.
Emily Voorde. She has light skin, blonde hair, wears a pink shirt, jeans and brown sandals, and uses a wheelchair. She smiles.

Emily Voorde is an Associate Director with NEWCO Strategies. She most recently served as an Associate Director in the White House Office of Public Engagement, serving as the Administration’s liaison to Disabled Americans and K-12 educators. 

Emily’s personal passions and professional expertise center on justice for individuals with disabilities and equitable access to education, regardless of zip code. Her career began as an AmeriCorps member and 2nd grade teacher in Pascagoula, Mississippi. On the weekends, Emily coached the elementary school’s first-ever girl’s basketball team and fell in love with Gulf Coast seafood.

Emily’s time in the classroom left her with more questions than answers about disparities in the American education system. While attending graduate school in Nashville, she worked at an education non-profit, Instruction Partners, where she worked alongside educators to support equitable access to high-quality instruction for students in Indiana, Tennessee, Louisiana, and California. 

In the summer of 2019, Emily returned to her hometown of South Bend, Indiana to support her Mayor, Pete Buttigieg’s, run for President. On the campaign she served as Chasten Buttigieg’s Body Woman, then Trip Director, traveling coast-to-coast full time. By campaign’s end, Emily had supported travel to over 200 community organizations and more than 60 LGBTQ+ centers across 26 states. As the first visibly Disabled staffer in the 2020 Democratic Primary, and the first-ever to ‘Body’ for a candidate or their partner, Emily firmly believes in the importance of greater Disabled representation in campaign and advocacy work. 

During the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, Emily served as an Associate Director with the University of Notre Dame’s Sara Bea Center for Students with Disabilities. In her role, she worked with over 200 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, many of whom were navigating the accommodations process for the first time. Emily also worked with students, faculty, and University leadership to develop a strategic plan for the creation of a more accessible and equitable environment for students with disabilities. 

Emily earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with minors in Constitutional Studies and Business Economics from the University of Notre Dame. While at Notre Dame, Emily spent a summer living in Dublin, Ireland completing research on the barriers to ratification of The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the United States and in Ireland. Emily also holds a Masters of Education from the University of Notre Dame and a Masters of Public Policy in Education from Vanderbilt University.

Closing Speaker: Peter Sleasman

Image of Peter Sleasman. He has light skin, short brown hair and wears glasses, a white collared shirt, red tie and blue blazer

Peter Sleasman is the Executive Director at Disability Rights Florida (DRF). He is an attorney with 35 years’ experience in federal civil rights litigation and disability law with a personal passion for equal justice and the attainment of basic human and civil rights.

After collaborating with DRF for over 20 years, Sleasman joined the non-profit in 2015. He previously served as the agency’s Director of Investigations, Legal Director, and Interim Executive Director. He has held staff attorney and legal management positions at Florida Legal Services, the Advocacy Center of Central Florida, Southern Legal Counsel, and Florida Institutional Legal Services.

Sleasman received his bachelor’s degree from Centre College in Danville, KY and J.D. from the University of Florida Levin College of Law. He is a member of the Florida Bar, United States District Court for the Northern, Middle, and Southern Districts of Florida, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. He is also a member of the Public Interest Law Section of the Florida Bar and a past chair of the Disability Law Committee.