Barry is 68 and, on 7th May 2015, he voted for the first time.
Supported by a dedicated team, Barry has severe learning disabilities, cerebral palsy, quadriplegia and is non-verbal. But his support staff know how he communicates and worked with the polling station staff to make sure he was able to vote.
At 8:45am, Barry arrived at his local polling station in Worcester. There, he met an independent adjudicator who read out the names of the parties and pointed to each candidate on the ballot paper.
Barry nodded when he heard his chosen party and officially voted in the 2015 general election.
Barry, alongside many other people with learning disabilities and autism, voted in the 2015 election as part of our national Love Your Vote campaign.
Making politics accessible
Back in 2012, people supported by Dimensions developed the Social Care Charter.
This charter, presented in Parliament, outlined five pledges the people we support want Dimensions to pursue with them and for them.
One pledge – “I want to have a voice and be listened to” – gave rise to the Dimensions Love Your Vote Campaign.
Download Dimensions Social Care Charter
Love Your Vote
Love Your Vote was a campaign in the run up to the General Election – we made voting and politics more accessible for people with learning disabilities and autism.
In association with the Parliamentary Outreach Service, Love Your Vote delivered a range of accessible workshops focused on local and national politics. We gave people the resources to contact their local MP, register, and cast their vote. We helped give everyone the chance to shape the future of our country.
At our Question Time style events, we welcomed a variety of MPs and people with learning disabilities and autism to discuss issues important to them. We used a number of methods to make Ask Your Question accessible and both panel members and the audience found it rewarding.
We hope Love Your Vote will be back for the next major election. The job is far from over and we want to see more people with learning disabilities and autism getting their voice heard.
If you know someone with a learning disability, please encourage them to register to vote online.