Disability charity United Response has published an easy read summary of the European and local elections to make the voting results more accessible to people with learning disabilities.
The summary has been published as a special edition of Easy News, United Response’s free magazine that aims to make news easier to understand for people with learning disabilities. The magazine is produced by UR Consultants, a group of people with learning disabilities, supported by United Response.
A bi-monthly magazine, Easy News was created last year to make the events in the news and political debate more accessible, and so make it easier for people with learning disabilities to follow developments and express their opinions.
Most people with learning disabilities are eligible to vote, yet turnout at elections remains low: just 16% of those registered to vote did so at the 2010 general election, compared to 61% national turnout, according to figures from United Response’s Every Vote Counts campaign.
When United Response first launched Easy News, it asked readers if they felt that politics made a difference to their lives. Then, only 31% felt that politics did make a difference. A year on and the figure has risen to 78%.
One respondent told United Response: “Politicians decide so much stuff on our behalves and they are not always right. Many newspapers seem to have political leanings and I need to make up my own mind, not just agree with what somebody else said.”
Diane Lightfoot, director of communications at United Response, added: “People with learning disabilities should have access to the same information as the rest of society. Without news being presented in an easy to understand format, it can be difficult for people to know what is going on in the world and to develop and express an opinion. We hope that Easy News will empower people so that they can make an informed vote at election time.”
To download the Easy News special on the election result, and to find out more about Easy News, click here