Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

News 29/05/2009

European funding used to facilitate access to European Elections for persons with disabilities

The European Parliament elections of June 2009 are for everybody.

Not only the theoretical right but also the practical opportunity for persons with disabilities to vote and to be elected are important objectives of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Support given by the Commission to NGOs (under PROGRESS) and to projects like web campaigns is making it easier for persons with disabilities to exercise this right. Check out the following examples:

The European Disability Forum (EDF), has launched a campaign on the website www.disabilityvotescount.eu to encourage citizens with disabilities to exercise their right to vote and to participate in the European elections, and to promote free and equal access to the electoral debates and procedures.

Inclusion Europe has produced an easy-to-read brochure on the European elections to lower the threshold for people with intellectual disabilities to actively participate in the elections. The brochure explains what the EU is, how the elections work, who is entitled to vote, and how to vote. It is available in 12 EU languages.

“My opinion my vote”, a project financed by the European Commission under the Grundtvig programme, has translated the manifestos of the European Political Parties into an easy-to-read format.

"In its statement, ANEC, the European consumer voice on standardisation, which is financially supported by the Commission, draws attention to the need to ensure accessibility of eVoting systems and of on-line electoral materials. Moreover, the buildings where voting takes place, such as schools and town halls, should be accessible to voters with disabilities, says ANEC."

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