Charity empowers people who have a learning disability to vote in local elections

Jennifer Paton and Tony Lee Davidson study easy to read leaflets.
Jennifer Paton and Tony Lee Davidson study easy to read leaflets.

ENABLE Scotland has launched its #ENABLEtheVote campaign to empower people in Fife who have learning disabilities to use their vote in the upcoming local elections.

The learning disability charity is delivering 19 unique hustings events throughout Scotland from Monday, March 20 including one at Templehall Community Centre in Kirkcaldy, bringing people who have learning disabilities face-to-face with local politicians to debate the key issues.

The hustings events will give people who have learning disabilities an opportunity to question candidates from the main political parties and independent groups.

The learning disability organisation has also joined forces with the Electoral Commission in a bid to make the voting process more accessible for people who have learning disabilities. With funding from the Electoral Commission ENABLE Scotland has produced fact sheets to support people who have learning disabilities through the voting process.

Kayleigh Thorpe, head of Campaigns and Activism for ENABLE Scotland said: “Traditionally the number of people who have a learning disability who vote is only around 30 per cent.

“A survey has found that 60 per cent of people who have learning disabilities found the process of voting too difficult – yet 70 per cent wanted to vote. That is why we’ve launched our #ENABLEthevote campaign and produced resources for people who have learning disabilities and their families, to support people to vote.

“Last year 80 per cent of people who have learning disabilities who took part in #ENABLEtheVote used their vote in the Scottish Parliamentary Elections.

“Through #ENABLEtheVote, ENABLE Scotland seeks to ensure that everyone who has a learning disability has the opportunity to exercise their democratic right to vote with confidence.”

Andy O’Neill, head of the Electoral Commission in Scotland said: “It’s important that everyone who wants to vote is supported to do so and we are delighted to work with ENABLE Scotland to make our democracy as accessible as possible.” The Fife husting event takes place on Saturday, April 8 at Templehall Community Centre from 10am to 1pm.