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

People with learning disability urged not to give up their ‘power’ to vote

A coalition of disability charities have created a new video raising awareness of the voting process to ensure that people with a learning disability have access to the right information to allow them to vote in the forthcoming snap general election.

United Response, Dimensions and Mencap have launched the video directly to the two million people with a learning disability or autism in the UK as part of the My Vote My Voice campaign, a coalition of organisations, groups and self-advocates who want equal voting access.

Hannah Molloy, Ismail Kaji and James Walker, who star in the video, all have lived experience of overcoming barriers to voting and want to ensure no one is excluded from their democratic rights.

My Vote My Voice spokesperson and Mencap’s Parliamentary and Government Engagement Officer Ismail Kaji said, “I’m a supporter of the campaign because it’s really important that people are included in politics and that voting is more accessible.”

 

Hannah Molloy, who forgot her voter id in the local elections and almost missed her chance to vote, doesn’t want anyone else to feel excluded; “I feel there will be a lot more disabled people like myself wishing for more clarity and accessibility.  As a peer mentor to other young people with autism I know others have struggled to vote.”

Highlighting some of the issues around voting and accessibility, the campaigns recent polling shows:

  • 41% of the general public felt that the introduction of voter ID made it harder for people with learning disabilities to vote
  • 22% of the general public don’t know that people with a learning disability have an equal right to vote.
  • 48% of the general public thought that the government was doing too little to listen to the concerns of people with learning disabilities

The My Vote My Voice website has a range of easy-to-read resources to support anyone who is interested in learning more about voting. Organisations can also sign the charter and help support everyone to exercise their right to vote.

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