Accessible elections

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Voting rights and election accessibility in Europe

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.  

Implementation Period¬† 2009¬†‚Äst2011¬†
Financed by¬† European Commission¬†‚Äď under the¬†‚ÄúFundamental Rights and Citizenship‚Äú¬†Programme¬†¬†
Project Coordinator  Inclusion Europe 
Project Partners  Nous aussi
ENABLE Scotland
Inclusion Czechia 


Within the framework of this project, Inclusion Europe undertook‚ÄĮ¬†research on¬†election¬†accessibility in Europe.‚ÄĮQuestionnaires¬†were¬†sent¬†out to¬†its member organisations and the electoral commissions or government departments responsible for organising elections. The¬†research revealed that‚ÄĮrestrictions 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‚ÄĮand encourage them to make their information more accessible.¬†

They also developed three useful publications; 


  1. The¬†guide entitled‚ÄĮ‚ÄúVoting for All!‚ÄĚ‚ÄĮ shows¬†national associations what they can do in the run-up to elections to ensure that they are as accessible as possible.¬†¬†
  1. The¬†Recommendations for¬†Accessible Elections in Europe‚ÄĮcover five key areas: legislation on legal capacity, accessible information, training, support for decision-making in voting, and access to the voting process.¬†¬†
  1. The¬†collection of‚ÄĮGood Practices for Accessible Elections¬†showcases examples on both European and national level.¬†¬†

In many European countries
people under guardianship
are not allowed to vote.


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.


Our work brings the voice of people with intellectual disabilities and their families where decisions about their future are made.

This has always been incredibly important. It is even more so with the Covid pandemic drastic impact on their rights and lives.

Being visible and vocal on issues directly affecting millions of people requires your support. 

Become Inclusion Europe supporter and help us keep doing our work.