Welsh? Today’s the day to register to vote

Today, 5th February 2016, is National Voter Registration Day.

Ahead of the Welsh Assembly elections in May, a panel of politicians and disability campaigners were well and truly grilled by people with learning disabilities in Swansea last week.

Sian James, Peter Black AM, Rosie Moriarty and Joe Powell were confronted by a passionate group of people with learning disabilities during an Ask Your Question event run by Dimensions Cymru with Learning Disability Wales.

With many audience members feeling unheard by the decision makers, they were keen to find out ways they could be heard and increase their influence.

Brian from Swansea, asked the panel: “With elections and referendums due, what are you going to do to get people with a learning disability to get involved?”

Panel members offered their advice and support with many stressing how important it is to vote. “I’m here to listen, your voice is important. You must vote for who you think will deliver what you want” said Peter Black, Assembly Member for Swansea.

By the end of the session the panel felt fully interrogated. “I’m so glad I attended. It’s reminded me how great it is to be a grassroots activist. The questions have been challenging” said Sian James, ex Labour MP for Swansea.

Sian James, Joe Powell, Rick Wilson, Peter Black AM and Rosie Moriarty answered questions from the audience.

By holding events like this, where adaptations are made to make the session accessible, Dimensions and Learning Disability Wales hope to increase the low voting levels across the autism and learning disability community in Wales.

Working with the Houses of Parliamentary Outreach Service, Dimensions are also holding a number of workshops where people with a learning disability can learn more about parliamentary processes and voting.

According to a YouGov poll, the autism and learning disability community represents nearly a quarter of the electorate. If you are one of them then your first step is today, National Voter Registration Day.

Register to vote online and have a voice on May 5th.