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Beyond the B-word: my hopes for the manifestos

Avid readers (ha) of my blogs may recognise the title. I used it before the 2017 general election. Here it is again, equally relevant.

In that blog I wondered if Brexit would make 2017 a single-issue general election, asserting that nothing could be worse for vulnerable people. And it is a case of deja-vu in 2019, despite politicians of most persuasions trying to shift the conversation. At least now there is clear water between some of the main parties’ policies on Brexit.

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Steve Scown, Dimensions CEO, blogs

Social care manifesto commitments

At time of writing, the manifestos have not been released. Here’s some of the questions I will be asking myself before choosing which party to vote for, and which you too might consider thinking about:

  1. Which of the parties have ensured their manifestos are accessible for people with a wide range of additional needs?
  2. Which of the parties treat people with learning disabilities and autism as an important part of the electorate?
  3. How important does social care appear to be to each of parties, set against other issues?
  4. Which of the parties recognise the financial meltdown facing so many local authorities and have a credible plan to do something about it?
  5. Which of the parties recognise and have a plan to tackle the ongoing failure of the transforming care programme?
  6. Does the disability employment gap, or hate crime, or improving primary healthcare for people with learning disabilities and autism, feature anywhere in each party’s manifesto?
  7. Which of the parties are proposing investment in preventative services?
  8. Last, but not least – what impact will the main parties’ Brexit policies have on social care – if you can make allowance for the passage of time, you’ll find some dated but still relevant thoughts on that issue here.

Each of these are knotty, current issues. I’d like to think these important questions have been considered by people wanting to lead our national political system. How much they feature will say a lot about how much they care about and are focussed on the critical issues facing people with learning disabilities and autism.


2017’s election had a shock result dubbed ‘Youthquake’ because young people, historically averse to voting, turned out en masse. That caught most parties by surprise and you can be sure that this group won’t be ignored in policy terms again.

The cold harsh reality is that people with learning disabilities and autism get overlooked in manifestos because not enough vote. Over the coming weeks, Dimensions will be sharing content from the manifestos, including any easy-read versions that relate to the topics above. But only you can judge what is best for you, and your family.

What you can do now, either yourself or alongside the person you support:

  1. Register to vote straightaway or by the deadline of 26 Nov – visit this webpage to find out how.
  2. Download the free Dimensions ‘Voting Passport’ to help at the polling station – visit this webpage to download now.
  3. Follow #LoveYourVote and @DimensionsUK on social media, where we’ll be sharing the accessible manifestos when they’re released
    Follow DimensionsUK on Twitter
    Like DimensionsUK on Facebook
    Connect with DimensionsUK on LinkedIn

If ever there was a time to get out and vote, surely this is it. Wouldn’t it be fab if all the post-election talk was about a Disabilityquake?