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Why political party manifestos must be accessible to everyone

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The general election is a key moment in shaping the future of our society.

And for every person in this country to make in an informed vote, they need to be able to access key information about exactly who and what they are voting for.

Access to information is a vital part of encouraging every constituent in the UK to take part in the political process. This means that political party manifestos and websites to be accessible to everyone.

We often hear negative comments about relatively low voter turnouts at elections in the UK and if you want more people to vote then you must make information accessible for them. Thus, we will never improve political inclusion in this country of we can’t get the basics right.

There are 12 million people in the UK with a disability or learning difficulty, and I’m one of them – I was diagnosed with dyslexia when I was studying at university.

And access to information is a fundamental right for every one of us. That’s why it was disappointing to read that the Conservative party had declined repeated requests from the British Deaf Association to produce a British Sign Language (BSL) interpretation of the Conservative election manifesto.

In doing so the party was denying Deaf people who use sign language the right to be informed and to have full access to the information the Conservatives are presenting to the electorate about their future vision for the country.

This is also a breach of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD).

As a company, Recite Me fully supports the position of the British Deaf Association on this issue and we hope that all political parties have fully accessible manifestos and websites for the next general election.

Whilst no political party will ever be perfect in everyone’s eyes, web accessibility must not be left behind in politics to ensure we don’t exclude around 20 per cent of the UK population from the political process.

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