For the General Election in 2015, we ran a project about how to vote. People with learning disabilities often do not vote in elections, and this means that they don’t have any say in matters that affect them. However, decisions made by government have massive effects. We want to encourage everyone to have their say.
To do this, we held our own mock election so that we could explain the process of how to cast a vote. We had discussions about the issues that affect us on a day to day basis, such as healthcare, policing, accessibility and many more. We each came up with ideas for how to make our community better, and then selected ‘candidates’ to stand for our election. Lots of people participated in our election, making it a very fun, positive and informative experience.
There were lots of us who had never voted in an election before, so we helped people to register to vote. We looked at the easy read manifestos for all of the major political parties and discussed what each party stands for. On election day, lots of our customers and staff voted for their very first time, including some customers who independently travelled to do so.
This will be repeated in all general elections.