Press release

Published: 21 February 2022Last change: 22 February 4929

For the first time, The Hague is deploying a voice assistant for people with intellectual disabilities or who have difficulty reading. Voting help Steffie explains voting easily, so that everyone can prepare well for the municipal elections of , 15 and 16 March.

Kavita Parbhudayal, coordinating councilor for Accessibility, suggested the digital voting aid on Thursday 17 officially in use in February.

“Stemhulp Steffie helps voters to prepare for the elections in an accessible way. At the same time, city administrators like me also learn from it. We use policy language every day Steffie insists that what we write down every day can be made simpler and more accessible”.People with intellectual disabilities or who have difficulty reading much less use of their voting rights than other voters. That’s why Steffie is a godsend. Steffie offers help by reading all the texts and, if necessary, giving a neutral explanation of the complicated political statements and words.

ExampleAn example of this is the explanation of the term budget deficit: “A city has budget problems if the city’s expenditures exceed the expected revenues”. After completing the voting aid it is shown in a simple way which political issues are at play in the municipality of The Hague, what parties stand for and which parties best match their own convictions.

Steffie’s voting aid is for It was first used with great success during the elections to the House of Representatives in 2021, when more than one million people made use of it. Steffie explains in a simple way how the elections and the voting process work with videos and spoken text. The voting aid is made for and by people with disabilities and can be used by everyone. contact via https://www.hoewerktdichten.nl/nl/

Steffie was developed and built by Leer Zelf Online in collaboration with Netrex, and with the support of the municipality of The Hague.

Alderman Kavita Parbhudayal talks to Steffie user Wouter about the benefits of the new voting aid; photo: Municipality of The Hague

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