My name is Mark Brookes. I work for Dimensions as a Campaign Advisor.
For the past two years, I have been meeting MPs at political party conferences.
During the party conferences we ask questions in workshops and talk to them MPs during meetings about current issues that affect people with learning disabilities and autism. We talk about things like health, hate crime, benefits, social care and jobs.
Many people that we support feel they are not being listened to. However the role of an MP is to listen and to represent their constituents. Local councillors are also meant to represent the people in their area.
MPs consider and debate new laws and ask government ministers questions about current issues. Local councillors make decisions about local issues, like housing and social care.
Also, some politicians don’t have much experience of the issues affecting people with learning disabilities and autism, so we need to give them as much information as we can and see how they can help us with the issue.
Politics affects us every day so it’s important for everyone with a learning disability or autism, to think about getting involved in politics.
People with learning disabilities and autism have the right to vote and get involved like anybody else.
For example, you can have a say by telling the MP in your area what matters to you and what you are concerned about.
Being part of the local community may be something that people with learning disabilities and autism also want to get involved in, as this will give you the opportunity to have a say in issues that come up. Local councillors and MPs listen to what their community is saying.
Other people get involved in politics by writing to their MP and local councillors, finding out when the MP and councillors meet people in the community.
Getting support teams involved is also good. It means they can speak about the issues that matter too.
Local elections are taking place on 2nd May. This is your chance to vote for your local councillor.
You can find out more by visiting: www.dimensions-uk.org/get-involved/campaigns/love-vote-making-politics-accessible/