Fighting elections is challenging and at can be expensive. It is clear that people with disabilities are likely to face greater costs when seeking elected office due to their disability.
The Minister for Women and Equalities has responded to this by launching an EnAble Fund for Elected Office. This fund will run until 2020 to help empower people with disabilities to stand in elections and represent their communities. In addition to this the Government is undertaking a programme to work with disability stakeholders to help political parties to better support disabled candidates.
For potential candidates interested in the scheme, a range of support can be bid for including:
- Transcription of campaign material to braille for visually impaired candidates
- BSL interpretation during election campaigns
- specialist equipment such as screen reader software
- Transport support for mobility impaired candidates
The fund itself will not be issued by Government but by Disability Rights UK and supported by the Local Government Association. This will help candidates discuss what support may be best suited to their needs with specialist advice available.
I hope this will help ensure that nobody is disadvantaged from taking part in the democratic process but you can find out more online at www.disabilityrightsuk.org/enablefund