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DR UK joins Accessible Voting Day signatories

03 March 2022

Barack Obama declared that "there is no such thing as a vote that does not matter". Yet many people are still effectively excluded from exercising their vote.

There are approximately 1.5 million people with a learning disability in the UK. But a United Response survey in 2021 found that only two thirds of people knew that people with learning disabilities have a legal right to vote.

The same year a Dimensions survey found that 80% of people felt that polling stations weren't accessible for people with a learning disability and 61% of people reported that polling station staff did not always make legally entitled reasonable adjustments. And, RNIB have serious concerns that the Elections Bill will fail to protect blind and partially sighted people's right to vote independently and in secret.

Article 29 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) explains how Disabled people will have their political rights guaranteed so they can enjoy them on an equal basis with others. This includes ensuring that voting procedures, facilities and materials are appropriate, accessible and easy to understand, and use.

To make sure Disabled and autistic voters have their political rights guaranteed, and that voting is an accessible process, for Accessible Voting Day on 3 March 2022 DR UK has joined a raft of organisations led by United Response pledging to:

* Be allies and champion the right to vote for all Disabled and autistic people

* Help promote the availability of manifestos and voting guides in accessible formats including easy read, braille and audio

* Listen to Disabled and autistic people about their voting accessibility concerns and take action.