LARGO, Md. (DC News Now) — National Disability Voting Rights Week ended on Friday, but that did not stop The Arc in Prince George’s County from teaching those in the disabled community about the importance of voting in this upcoming election.

“If you don’t use your voice, it’s just like, you’re being silent. And silence is a response as well,” said disability advocate Nnena Wilson.

The Arc Prince George’s County provides support and opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities. Dozens of people came out to their “Ready 2 Vote” block party on Saturday.

“This is about bringing folks together to learn to understand again, their rights, and to make sure they’re prepared to vote to understand if they need accommodations, how to request those accommodations, and how to use those devices to cast their vote to let their voices be heard,” said Rob Malone, Executive Director for The Arc Prince George’s County.

The event featured music, a variety of vendors, and voting workshops. Guests also had the opportunity to register to vote and practice casting their vote with a mock ballot with help from the county’s board of elections.

“They’re so excited that they can actually mock a ballot, stick it into the machine and see how that process works. So it’s been a great day for people with disabilities so they can ask the questions that they need about accessibility. Can I vote early… how do I vote that day? So this has been a wonderful event to really encourage people with disabilities to vote,” said Melonee Clark, Education and Communication Engagement Manager for The Arc.

Wilson says she truly enjoyed the workshops, and her biggest takeaway was the importance of voting for everyone.

“The disabled community is just as important as anyone else. We speak just like you, but we speak in different ways and our vote is a way for us to speak,” she said.

Leaders of the Arc say there are so many issues in the disabled community that need to be addressed by the right leaders. They’re encouraging people with disabilities to learn about their voting rights so they can vote for politicians that will make those changes.

“One of the biggest concerns is having the people that support them get paid livable wages, and that’s a concern to make sure they have the staff support that they need,” said Clark.

“We need better options for people with disabilities to find affordable housing, more education options, workforce. We need our state representatives and when we cast the vote, we want everyone with disabilities to make sure we’re electing people who are really going to fully fund developmental disability rates so that we can get people into services,” Malone added.

The block party also gave them a chance to share those concerns with Maryland Delegate Cheryl Landis for District 23B, and Nicole Williams candidate for Maryland Delegate District 22.

“I love what they’re doing around voter registration, having them come in and educating people about the fact that there’s an election coming up, and how important it is to be engaged in the process,” said Williams. “I’m just really making sure that we’re doing a better job honestly. of just getting families the services that they need, making sure that the individuals who have disabilities have opportunities just like everybody else.”

Delegate Landis emphasized the importance for those within the disabled community to come out and vote so they’re represented properly.

“There are serious consequences when individuals don’t go and cast their vote. We end up with candidates in office who number one don’t respect our democracy. They don’t respect the very people that elected and put them into office, and as a consequence, our needs are not represented. I just feel like individuals with disabilities they’re at the bottom of the barrel and they’re the ones who need the most,” she said. “They matter, everybody has a voice. Everyone needs to be heard. Everyone needs to be provided with just the basic opportunities to live and to thrive in this in this county and in the world in general.”

Leaders with The Arc say they were able to successfully register several people to vote, and for those underaged, they pledged to vote as soon as they turn 18.