People with learning disabilities to question local candidates

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People with learning difficulties from across the Lothians are to be given the chance to grill their local politicians, thanks to an innovative hustings event being held next week.

ENABLE Scotland says the shocking fact that only 30 per cent of people with learning disabilities vote, despite being hugely affected by Governments’ policies, prompted the charity to organise the eight events which will take them on a campaign trail right across Scotland.

The hustings’ events aim to give people with learning disabilities the chance to meet their local MSPs and get their questions and issues heard.

The event will take place at ENABLE Edinburgh’s office at 95 Causewayside, Edinburgh, EH9 1QG, on Monday, April 4 at 6.00pm and people who have learning disabilities and their families and carers are welcome to attend to put their local candidates on the spot.

Jan Savage, the charity’s Executive Director of Campaigns and External Affairs, said: “Traditionally the number of people who have a learning disability who vote is only around 30 per cent. Yet a survey by our sister organisation, Mencap, showed 70 per cent intended to vote.

“Unfortunately the survey also found that 60 per cent of people who have learning disabilities found the process of voting too difficult. This is why we’ve launched our #ENABLEtheVote campaign and produced resources for people who have learning disabilities and their families to help get people ready to vote.”

ENABLE Scotland’s campaign trail will travel around Scotland to make voting more accessible for people who have learning disabilities, as part of its #ENABLEtheVote campaign.

As part of the campaign, ENABLE Scotland has also produced a series of accessible factsheets with the Electoral Commission about the election, ways to vote and voting at a polling station.

All MSPs have been asked to Be the Change for people who have learning disabilities, and have been contacted with the 10 key changes that the charity’s members want to see in 2016-2021.

And all the parties standing for election have also been asked to produce easy-read manifestos to make the whole voting process easier for people who have learning disabilities.

The meetings are open to anyone who has a learning disability, and their supporters. To book a place, contact ENABLE Scotland’s Campaigns team on campaigns@enable.org.uk or 01698 737000.

To find out more about #ENABLEtheVote and the ten key changes, visit www.enable.org.uk/enablethevote