#GE2017 Election round up
Deaf and Disabled People getting our voices heard in the election
While the mainstream media have focused their election coverage on Brexit and the economy, Deaf and Disabled people have been busy trying to draw attention to the issues that matter most to us. Last week we published a guest blog post by #CripTheVote. Here we provide a round up of what you have been up to in spite of limitations created by a snap election.
Alliance for Inclusive Education
“ALLFIE has focused on seeking support for 2 General Election Asks. One on the full implementation of Article 24 of the UNCPRD and the other is seeking a commitment to fully fund a national inclusive education system. We have produced election campaign resources for our members and supporters and used social media to get people to share their support for inclusive education. We also had a competition running, to win some great ALLFIE merch for anyone that could get their parliamentary candidates to sign up to ALLFIE’s GE Asks.”
Bromley X by X
“We held a hustings for Bromley and Chislehurst. It was attended by candidates from the five main political parties and local Deaf and disabled people were given the opportunity to ask questions about benefits, independent living, local services, inclusive education and accessible transport. We had a good turn out and people found it a useful platform to speak up about their own experience, making the candidates aware of current issues. By asking tough questions, we were able to compare what the different parties were saying so we can make an informed decision at the polls tomorrow.”
Merton Centre for Independent Living
Sadly the two ”Quiz your Candidates” events that MCIL organised for Morden and Mitcham and Wimbledon constituencies had to be cancelled when campaigning was suspended due to the horrific events in Manchester. They were nevertheless busy encouraging members to register to vote and dedicating an extra long newsletter special to the election comparing party manifestos and presenting written responses from local candidates to five disability specific questions.
You can read their excellent newsletter here: Merton CIL Newsletter – General Election Special
Disabled People Against Cuts
DPAC’s election campaign began and ended with protests, in Westminster on 2 May and Maidenhead on 3 June, to highlight the impact of government policy and austerity cuts on Deaf and Disabled people. DPAC members got stuck in with election stalls across England and Wales, registering people to vote and engaging with the public about why this election matters. Thousands of leaflets were handed out.
“We had a great response with students committing to register and use their vote. Some were unaware of the election before talking to us but will now use their vote in solidarity with disabled people. Getting out there and talking to people about the cuts make a real difference.” Mark, Bromley and Croydon DPAC
“GE17 has been an exciting time that has seen me invest a lot of money in DPAC materials – such as a banner and leaflets – and make many friends as we fight for a change of government. The campaign has allowed me to engage with the local community, meet comedy icon Steve Coogan and flood social media with literature. All this has been done in the name of Wrexham DPAC which I hope will continue to grow and prosper long into the future, whatever the result on Thursday.” Nathan, Wrexham DPAC
ITN included footage of the Brixton stall in an election feature by Penny Marshall on disability benefits and Wrexham DPAC had a surprise visit from Steve Coogan on the campaign trail with local MP Ian Lucas. Vice included DPAC in their “2017 UK Election Report: Things Nobody is Talking About“ and LBC’s Iain Dale spoke to us about what we thought when disabled voter Cathy Mohan confronted Theresa May on the campaign trail.
DPAC campaigners were also involved in unity vigils after the horrific terrorist attacks that have played such a terrible part in the election.
Lastly we released a series of election films produced by Rough and Tumble media company aimed at exposing the realities of welfare reform and making voters think twice about how they use their vote on 8 June. The films have now been viewed more than 22,000 times. You can watch a Q and A with film-maker Anthony Swords at the film preview.
Disabled People Against Cuts film preview Q and A:
Jenny Hurst’s story:
Jenny Sealey’s story: