Today the Electoral Commission’s report, Elections for Everyone, highlights the ongoing barriers for people with learning disabilities and autism when it comes to one of the most fundamental parts of social inclusion – voting.
Voting in elections is a clear way of showing your engagement with society and having your say on how the country should be run. Exclusion from this process keeps people on the margins of politics and policymaking.
It is clear from the report that there’s a long way to go to include people with learning disabilities and autism in our democracy. At Dimensions we are committed to supporting more people to vote through our Love Your Vote campaign. That is why we have led voting workshops, designed accessible tools and produced guidance for colleagues to support people when they vote.
We have made our own recommendations to Cabinet Office in its call for evidence, based on our experience of running the Love Your Vote campaign and we welcome the points made today in the Commission’s report.
Jordan Smith, a Quality Consultant at Dimensions and member of Dimensions Council commented, “It’s important that people with learning disabilities and autism get the chance to have their say.
“Too many people, including myself, have felt excluded from voting because of having a disability. People have a legal right to reasonable adjustments and the points made in this report are not unreasonable.”
We want to see timely, accessible alternatives to registration forms, information guides and manifestos that would help to engage a larger number of people. We also want training for the people who run elections, led by people with learning disabilities and autism, so they know how people can be supported to vote.