No barriers – enabling the voices of those with learning disabilities

This week we are celebrating our incredible partners who help us to raise awareness of registering to vote. Today we look back at our partnership with ENABLE Scotland to reach out to those with learning disabilities.

To ensure that both the voting process and information about how to register for the 2016 Scottish Parliament election were accessible to all, we worked in partnership with ENABLE Scotland.

ENABLE Scotland is the leading organisation of and for people who have learning disabilities. They provide a wide range of support services for over 2,000 people who have learning disabilities and their families in Scotland. Together with their 5,000 members, they campaign for an equal society for every person who has a learning disability.


On average, only 30 per cent of people with a learning disability exercise their right to vote. This is incredibly low when we consider that 70 per cent of people who have learning disabilities want to vote, but 60 per cent find the process too difficult.

“We wanted to change that with #ENABLEtheVote. And we were delighted to work with the Electoral Commission to do just that!

People with learning disabilities’ voices aren’t heard. They often face lifelong exclusion and lack of opportunity. If politicians don’t hear their voices, how can they understand the impact their decisions make on their lives?

We were delighted to work with the Electoral Commission to develop co-branded easy read voting guides. Thanks to this partnership, not only were these guides accurate and informative, they benefitted a wider audience.”

To tackle this problem, ENABLE ran a voter registration and information campaign – #ENABLEtheVote – with the aim of ensuring people with learning disabilities can use their vote.

The campaign took an innovative approach to engaging voters who have a learning disability. ENABLE Scotland wrote to leaders of political parties requesting easy read manifestos, with the aim of making the 2016 Scottish Parliament election an #EasyReadElection. As a result of their outstanding work and commitment, they have been nominated as a finalist in the 2016 Herald Society Awards for this campaign.

We teamed up with ENABLE Scotland to develop easy read factsheet resources to help people understand how to register and vote;  how to vote guide, guide for families and carers, guide for service providers, voting walkthrough. 

#ENABLEtheVote worked across the political spectrum, empowering people who have learning disabilities to have their say in Scottish politics; to influence the debate on the issues that matter to them; make informed choices about who to vote for, and increase the number of people who have learning disabilities exercising their right to vote in Scottish elections.

  • 86% of people who have learning disabilities said #ENABLEtheVote helped them make informed decisions about their vote
  • 8 out of 10 exercised their right to vote!

It is crucial for a healthy democracy that there are no barriers to participating in elections and we were proud to have supported ENABLE’s #ENABLEtheVote campaign.

Read more about @ENABLEScotland and #partnerweek @YourVote_UK and on Facebook!

This entry was posted in #yourvotematters, Campaigns, Elections, Electoral Registration, Register to Vote, Scottish Parliament, voting. Bookmark the permalink.

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