Disabled people and voting: it’s about much more than access

arbitrary constant

Polling fenceThere are always a number of campaigns around this time on ensuring voting is accessible for all disabled people. Such campaigns are usually accompanied by statistics about the physical inaccessibility of polling stations or the fact party manifestos are rarely produced in Easy Read formats.

This is all right and proper: it’s the bare minimum to ensure the process of voting is accessible for disabled people, and the work of organisations in drawing attention to this is valuable.

For me, though, there’s a much wider point that receives relatively little attention: the idea of disabled people as equal citizens and a key constituency in the electorate whose thoughts and preferences are responded to and catered for by politics and policy.

If disabled people[1] were thought of in this way, we would know much more comprehensively than we do answers to questions such as:

  • How many disabled people vote?
  • What are…

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