In 2015, the Equality and Human Rights Commission identified five key actions to tackle the barriers that prevent disabled people participating in political life.
These recommendations are part of the Commission’s response to a United Nation’s inquiry into the rights of disabled people to participate in political and public life, published in September 2015.
The Commission is urging action in five key areas:
- The House of Commons, House of Lords Appointments Commission, Welsh Assembly and Scottish Parliament should collect regular and confidential disability data from Members in order to identify barriers and track progress towards proportionate representation. For the House of Lords, this information should inform future appointments.
- The Government should implement section106 of the Equality Act 2010 requiring political parties to publish diversity data about their election candidates, to provide transparency about where issues remain to be tackled.
- The Government should reopen the Access to Elected Office Fund or a similar alternative and extend it across Britain, in order to redress the extra financial burden disabled people face in engaging in political life.
- UK, Scottish and Welsh Governments should deliver targeted campaigns to raise awareness among disabled people of opportunities to stand for elected office, build confidence and tackle barriers.
- All elected bodies, at national, regional and local level, should demonstrate best practice in providing practical support for elected Members. This should include providing fully accessible buildings and meetings.