Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

Disabled voters feel political parties have not focused enough on issues that affect them

votingMore than three quarters of disabled voters believe the political parties have not placed enough emphasis on the issues that affect them, yet the majority are still planning to vote in the general election, a survey has found.

The survey of more than 1,000 disabled people by learning disability charity Papworth Trust found that the top 3 issues for them in the upcoming election are the NHS and health (in the top 3 of 72% of respondents), immigration (46%) and welfare (34%).

Despite feedback from the poll and from hustings that many disabled people feel ignored and marginalised by politicians, of those questioned, 72% said they were certain to vote and 92% said they were more likely than not to vote.

Papworth Trust believes that the parties are missing a trick as there are 12 million disabled voters in the UK, and in such a tight election, every vote counts. It has hosted workshops to help people register to vote and held 4 hustings to enable them to question their local candidates.

The charity will also encourage people to use their vote by holding a Twitter takeover on May 6. This will be an opportunity for customers to use the charity’s official Twitter account to communicate why they are voting, through text and pictures.

Papworth Trust Chief Executive Vicky McDermott said: “Disabled people and their carers, family and friends can have a big political voice. The general election on May 7 will be a very exciting one, and we want everyone to have their say.

“We’d like to see the parties pledge more help for disabled people to get into work, and to be able to live in their own home.”

The charity is continuing to run its poll for disabled voters at: www.papworthtrust.org.uk/useyourvote

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