Many European countries still restrict the right to vote for people with intellectual disabilities under guardianship. But even people with intellectual disabilities who are not deprived of this right often struggle to cast their vote, due to the inaccessibility of the entire election process. Not only people with intellectual disabilities are affected by this, but also, for example, people with intellectual, sensory and physical disabilities, or the elderly.
The project set out to investigate the (in)accessibility of elections for people with disabilities in Europe and develop a number of resources to help make elections more accessible.
Within the framework of this project, Inclusion Europe undertook research on election accessibility in Europe. Questionnaires were sent out to its member organisations and the electoral commissions or government departments responsible for organising elections. The research revealed that restrictions on legal capacity, lack of access to information and polling stations and a general lack of awareness were among the main barriers for people with disabilities wanting to cast their vote.
Projects partners met with national and European politicians to raise awareness about this problem and encourage them to make their information more accessible.
They also developed three useful publications;
- The guide entitled “Voting for All!” shows national associations what they can do in the run-up to elections to ensure that they are as accessible as possible.
- The Recommendations for Accessible Elections in Europe cover five key areas: legislation on legal capacity, accessible information, training, support for decision-making in voting, and access to the voting process.
- The collection of Good Practices for Accessible Elections showcases examples on both European and national level.
This doesn’t only happen
to people with intellectual disabilities.
It can also happen to old people
and to people with other types of disability.
We did the project to find out
how accessible voting is in Europe.
This project lasted from 2009 to 2011.
At the end of the project
we wrote many texts
on how to make elections accessible.