Support now available for running for elected office
13 July 2012
Disabled people have been prevented or put off from running for elected office in the past. Now you can apply for funding for election campaigning access support such as British Sign Language interpreting, guiding, additional transport costs and support workers. The funding will come from the new Access to Elected Office Fund, which was launched on 9 July 2012 by the Government. The Fund will run until the end of March 2014.
Underrepresentation of disabled people in civic life
Scope has been campaigning on the underrepresentation of disabled people in civic life for many years. As well as the negative attitudes and assumptions many disabled candidates face, many also incur significant extra costs in their election campaigns as MPs or councillors as a result of their condition or impairment.
A representative proportion of the population should place the number of disabled MPs at around 65, yet there is no exact figure because the data has never been collected.
Over 14% of councillors indicated that they had a long term-illness, health problem or disability. Whilst this figure might sound fairly high, few aspiring candidates would be able to identify a disabled councillor someone they would consider to be a role model.
Scope hopes that more disabled people in elected positions will go some way to increasing visibility and familiarity of disabled people in everyday life and tackle a deterioration of attitudes towards them.
How to apply for the Access to Elected Office funding
Visit the Access to Elected Office Fund website for detailed information on how to make an application for funding.