As part of our Every Vote Counts campaign, we have launched a set of resources today which aims to make politics easier to understand for people with learning disabilities and other vulnerable groups.

Designed to open up politics to the 1.5 million adults with learning disabilities across the UK, Every Vote Counts was originally launched prior to the 2010 General Election. The campaign was created to make politics accessible to all, particularly people with learning disabilities, and provided easy read guides to voting, urged all political parties to ensure their information was accessible, and campaigned publicly for greater awareness of the fact that most people with learning disabilities are entitled to vote.

As a result of the campaign, and others like it, more people with learning disabilities voted at the last election than ever before and all three main politic parties produced accessible manifestos for the first time ever.

To ensure that even more people get the opportunity to vote in 2015, United Response is launching its new set of resources today. The resources cover everything about how to take part in the democratic process; from how politics affects our everyday lives, through to the role of Parliament and politicians, and how to get involved in politics. There are also sections on devolution and referendums.

Alongside the three easy read booklets, there is also a supporter’s booklet aimed at anyone wishing to help someone with learning disabilities get more involved in politics. The booklet looks at how to avoid bias and what the law says on mental capacity and voting.

Stephen Penketh, Registered Manager at Lancashire-based disability charity Affinity Supporting People, explained that easy read information helps the people he supports to make informed decisions. He said:

“We would like to receive easy read information from all political candidates. Every person we support has a different preference for communication; whether it be through video, easy read or whatever they choose.

“So, working with a wide scope of communication styles is vital to our work. People should be given information in a way that they can understand.”

The booklets aim to do just that, with the first booklet, ‘How politics affects your life’ explaining how the law works, the basic rights of all people and how these things impact community life as well as individuals.

‘How Politics Works’ details how MPs are elected and how they can help the community, as well as explanations of devolution and how elections at European Parliament work. The booklet also explains the work of political parties, and how the House of Lords and the Queen are involved in decision-making.

The final booklet, ‘How to get involved’, outlines the voting process in both local and European as well as General Elections, and offers advice on other ways to vote. There is also information about joining political parties and getting involved in campaigning.

For further information on The Every Vote Counts campaign, and to download or order your free set of resources, go to: For regular updates on the campaign, why not sign up to our Every Vote Counts newsletter?

If you have any feedback on ways that you have used the resources with the people that you support, then we’d love to hear from you. Drop us a line at [email protected]

Gemma Taylor, Media Assistant