Presentation on theme: "Participation of people with intellectual disabilities in European elections. Katrina Ward, Inclusion Europe."— Presentation transcript:
1 Participation of people with intellectual disabilities in European elections. Katrina Ward,Inclusion Europe.
2 Inclusion Europe Inclusion Europe is a non-profit organisation. We campaign for the rights and interestsof people with intellectual disabilitiesand their families throughout Europe.We have 66 member organisationsin 33 European countries.Family-based and self-advocacy – oriented organisation
3 UNCRPD Article 29 of the UN Convention . on the Rights of Persons with Disabilitiesguarantees the full participationof people with disabilities in electionsand their right to vote.It ensures that “voting procedures, facilitiesand materials are appropriate, accessible and easyto understand and use”It also ensures the right to assistance when voting..
4 Introduction In this presentation I will speak about: Our project on elections.Some difficulties which people with intellectual disabilities can have when votingExamples of good practices in Europe, that make it easier for people with intellectual disabilities to vote.Some recommendations about how to make elections more accessible for people with intellectual disabilities.
5 The ADAP project Aim: To improve the accessibility of elections for people with intellectual disabilities.Partners: Inclusion Europe is working withthree self-advocates and their support persons from:Nous Aussi, FranceENABLE ScotlandSPMP, Czech Republic.Funding:The project is funded by the European CommissionProject length: December 2009 – May 2011Fundamental Rights & Citizenship Programme
6 Project outputs Best practices brochure. Recommendations to politicians and electoral commissions or government departments who organise the elections in the different countries of the European Union.Meetings between self-advocates and politicians on accessibility.Guide for national associations about how to organise a campaign for accessible elections in easy-to-read language.Final Conference in Brussels May3. – Meetings with MEPs in Brussels and at national level
7 Barriers to votingWe asked our member organisations:“What is the most important barrier which stops people with intellectual disabilities from voting in your country?”
8 Barriers to voting “THE INACCESSIBILITY of the election campaign and polling booths”(Pentru Voi, Romania)
9 Barriers to voting“Most political parties don’t even try to communicate with people with intellectual disabilities”(Senada Halilčević , self-advocate and member of the Association for Self-advocacy, Croatia)
10 Barriers to voting “Prejudice that they are not capable of making decisions”(Pancyprian Parents Associationfor People with Mental Handicap,Cyprus)By politicians, polling station workers, the general public, but also by parents and carers in some cases
11 Barriers to voting “The three important barriers which stop people with intellectual disabilities from participating inelections in Greece are that the most of them:- are under guardianship- are living in institutions- have no facilities to information and the electoral process”(Posgamea, Greece)
12 Barriers to voting (ÉFOÉSZ, Hungary) “The ballot forms are not accessiblein easy-to-read formats and the presence ofa personal assistant is not available.”“The polling station officials are not trained to communicate with people with intellectual disabilities.”(ÉFOÉSZ, Hungary)
13 Barriers to voting“The lack of information in an appropriate form that would allow them to make an informed decision about who to vote for.”(Mencap, UK)
14 Figures on participation Figures showing the participation of people with intellectual disabilities in elections were available in only 2 out of 25 countriesMember organisations in EU and non-EU countries
15 Figures on participation UK: In the 2010 May general election, only 31% of people with intellectual disabilities voted, compared to 65.1% of the general population.Source: Mencap poll of over people with intellectual disabilitiesUK – From Mencap poll of over 1100 PWID
16 Figures on participation Sweden:In 1998, 20% ofpeople with intellectual disabilities voted,compared to 81.4% of the general population.In 1994, 31% of people with intellectual disabilities voted in the national election,compared with 86% of the general population.Source: Anette Kjellberg, ‘Participation, Ideology and Everyday Life. How to understand the experiences of persons with learning disabilities’. 2002, University of Linköping, Sweden
18 1. Information We found that in 15 out of 25 European countries, there is information in easy-to-readabout voting and the elections.Easy-to-read – explain briefly – European standards – simpler words, cut the phrase so there is one idea per phrase, use of symbols to accompany the text, recommended text size – not too small etc. – like the information in this presentation but with symbolsIncluding information about local, national and European elections, the national political system, when the elections are held, where to go to vote, filling in the ballot form and the election results.
19 1. Information Examples: Easy-to-read voting guides European election guideInclusion Europe wrote a guide an easy-to-read guide for the 2009 European elections.This was translated into 13 European languages.National election guidesEasy-to-read voting guides exist in Germany, Scotland, England, Ireland, Finland, Sweden and Belgium.They explain for example:the importance of voting, different types of elections, how to vote, how to find out the election results.IE – European elections leaflet – Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, UK, Spain, Estonia, France, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia. Also in 2004Show examples? Germany, Scotland..
20 1. Information Example: Political party manifestos in easy-to-read In the UK, for the general election in May 2010,the three main political partiesdid their manifestos in easy-to-read.
21 1. Information www.promotethevote.co.uk Example: Accessible websites about votingIn the UK, a group of self-advocatesmade a website about votingin easy-to-understand language.It explains in easy-to-read languageand short videosthe different aspects of voting.Also videos about voting – e.g Sweden
22 2. Training We found that there was training for self-advocates about how to votein 8 out of 25 European countries.Belgium, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Slovakia, Sweden, UK, Norway
23 2. Training Example: Peer training manual on voting Several Scottish disability organisationsdeveloped together a peer training manual so that people with intellectual disabilities can teach other people with intellectual disabilities about voting.It was made with the support ofthe Scottish electoral commission.
24 2. Training Example: Voting workshops and debates Ireland: Voting workshops for self-advocates are organised by Inclusion Ireland.Finland: Voting debates are organised by our Finnish member FDUV
25 3. Campaigns and lobbying We found that campaigns and lobbying activities for more accessible elections are taking place in several European countries.
26 3. Campaigns and lobbying Example: UK – ‘Get my vote!’ campaignOrganised by Mencap UK before the general election in May 2010.Called for the main parties to produce their information in easy-to-read.Called for more accessible election materials for people with intellectual disabilities.
27 3. Campaigns and lobbying Example:Romania - Lobbying for assisted votingHelp the Life Association was part ofa working group that worked for 6 monthsto change the electoral codebefore the 2009 national electionand made important changes.One of these changes was theintroduction of assisted voting forpeople with disabilities.Also – Romania vote SMART campaign
28 4. Accessibility guides In France and Scotland there are guides for politiciansabout how to make their events and campaignsmore accessible for people with intellectualand physical disabilities.They highlightwhat language they should useand how to make their campaign materialsand meeting venues accessible.
29 Some recommendations Information and training: Provision of information in easy to understand language about all aspects of the electoral process at national and local level.Effective distribution of these materials.Training for people with intellectual disabilities on how to vote.Training for poll workers on how to assist people with intellectual disabilities.Regular consultation with NGOs and people with intellectual disabilities on the provision of accessible information and training.Greater awareness-raising about the rights of people with intellectual disabilities to vote.4. Awareness-raising – among politicians, pollworkers, pwid and their families, the general public
30 Some recommendations Legislation: Revise laws on legal capacity and the right to vote in accordance with Article 12 of the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities.Ensure the provision of accessible information in accordance with Article 21 of the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities.Ensure that people with intellectual disabilities can be assisted by a person they trust when voting.Consult regularly with NGOs regarding changes to laws on legal capacity or accessibility measures.
31 Thank you! For more information about the project, please visit the project website:For more information about the ADAP projectand the final conference, please contact:Katrina Ward,project officer: