Able2UK Losers

ELECTION 2024: Government criticised on lack of accessible following election announcement

Rishi Sunak announcing the 2024 general election outside number 10 downing street

With the 2024 General Election campaign underway, disability ambassadors and charities were disappointed how inaccessible the Prime Minister’s announcement was for potential voters with hearing loss.

No. 10 had promised British Sign Language and captions would be put in place for government announcements by spring 2024, but when Rishi Sunak stood outside Downing Street a couple of weeks ago there was no sign of either.

This contradicted the promise made in the Government’s disability action plan which pledged  “10 Downing Street will work to provide in-situ BSL interpretation for all major press conferences and briefings from spring 2024 onwards.”

Rewind back to the pandemic and the government was reprimanded in 2021 for not providing BSL interpreters for “urgent” and “critical” TV briefings issuing advice on how to stay safe and changes to Covid-19 regulations.

With a poor track record making vital information accessible for all, there is concern the party manifestos will not provide alternative copies for people with vision loss, learning disabilities and autism, which has been the case in previous years.

When inclusive copies have been released it has been too late for people to cast their vote.

MPs desperate to rack up support leading up to the election are already falling at the first hurdle by not providing alt-text [which describes images] on their social media handles.

Then there’s the added concern that these leaflets we are seeing cluttering up our hallways being shoved through letterboxes urging us to vote for a particular party and published on various websites are not available in accessible formats.

In 2022 the Department for Work and Pensions turned a blind eye when asked to release a report shaming government websites which had breached accessible legal duties.

Dan White policy and campaigns officer at Disability Rights UK said: “The need for parties to run more inclusive campaigns goes without saying. It is unacceptable that Disabled people are excluded from a process that has such significant implications for our future. Voting is a democratic right for all, and not giving all citizens information in formats that we can access, is breaking the law and preventing our participation. 

“Disability Rights UK spoke to Disabled people earlier this week [sic] who told us they have raised accessibility issues with their local MPs, but they have been ignored.”

“The barriers Disabled people face within political parties and from the wider political process has led to shockingly low numbers of Disabled MPs in the House of Commons. Only six MPs out of 650 MPs identified themselves as Disabled people, following the 2019 General Election. “

[ The 2024 General election will take place on 4th July. ]

Related Articles

Help support us continuing our groundbreaking work. Make a donation to help with our running costs, and support us with continuing to bring you all the latest news, reviews and accessibility reports. Become a supporter or sponsor of Able2UK today!

Able2UK Logo