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Enable host hustings event to urge candidates to speak up for the rights of people with learning disabilities ahead of election

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Enable welcomed candidates from across leading parties to a hustings event today in Glasgow as part of a campaign to support people with learning disabilities to understand and use their right to vote ahead of the General Election on July 4.
The campaign, Enable the Vote, is in collaboration with the Electoral Commission in Scotland, and aims to empower people with learning disabilities to:
  • Support people with learning disabilities to participate in the UK General Election through providing accessible information and guidance on the voting process.
  • Ensure people with learning disabilities are aware of the new requirement for photographic ID which will be in place for the first time for a national election in Scotland.
  • Provide information to people with learning disabilities on the election through organising information and engagement events.
  • Research perceptions of people with learning disabilities about voting through focus groups prior to the election and experiences of voting through focus groups after the election.
Enable the Vote fulfils an important purpose because only around 30% of people with a learning disability vote in elections compared to 67.3% of the general population who voted in the 2019 UK General Election.
Kirsty Kennedy-Hyman, co-chair of Enable’s Self-Advocacy Forum, welcomed party representatives Paul O’Kane MSP (Scottish Labour), Robert Connolly (Scottish Conservative), Grant Toghill (Scottish Liberal Democrat) and Carolynn Scrimgeour (Scottish Greens), each representative set out their position before joining small group sessions to participate in discussions and answer questions from audience members.
In attendance was representatives from the learning disability community including Enable Ambassador, Heather Gilchrist.
Heather Twitter quote hustings
She said: 
“For too long people with learning disabilities have not had equal rights in our society. We have fewer chances in education, to find work, and to have the support and social care we need.  We need to ensure our voices are heard and listened to, and all candidates speak up for change as we continue to need real equality for people with learning disabilities.”
Enable highlighted a number of its campaigns including: Rights Now!  a campaign to uphold the rights of people with learning disabilities in Scotland through the proposed Learning Disability, Autism and Neurodivergence Bill;  My Own Front Door, a campaign to ensure that everyone gets the support they need in their local community and not be placed in hospital or a medical setting sometimes far from where they live; and Be the Change to reduce bullying and help drive a more inclusive society for people with learning disabilities.
Hustings collage
Find out more about Enable the Vote and download our Easy Read resources here: