Why it's important for disabled people to vote

2 April 2015

Graeme Brittlesby Graeme Brittles

The year is the first time we’ve known in advance when the general election will be called. This has meant campaigning started earlier than ever before. It seems that everywhere we turn, we're hit in the face with politics — be it on billboards, in the newspapers, on the television, online or even in everyday conversation.

But why is all of this is important, and why we should take notice — especially those of us who are disabled?

It may not seem like it at the point of receiving support, but so many of the things that we rely on during our day-to-day living are dependent on a national government.

A vote in one direction or another could drastically alter the way that disabled people are treated and perceived, not just by employers and benefit providers, but by the public at large.

With no guarantee of a majority government being formed by one individual political party, one vote could well mean the difference between a provision for disabled people being secured for the next five years, or that same service being cut.

This is why engagement in politics is more important than ever for disabled people.

If we’re not willing to demonstrate our opinion with our vote then we put ourselves, and the support that we rely on, in the hands of those who are.

That’s why it’s vital to not only vote, but to pay attention to what the parties are doing and what they offer, and to make an informed decision about who’s name we put a cross next to.

If you're not already registered to vote, the deadline is 20 April.Find out how to register.

Graeme Brittles is part of the Disability Advice team at Leeds Beckett University, and was previously the Students with Disabilities Officer at Leeds Beckett Students' Union.

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