Information about politics and current affairs can be difficult to understand for anyone.

For people with learning disabilities, the way the news is presented can make it even more daunting. This leads to people feeling disengaged from current affairs and is one of the many reasons that people with learning disabilities have historically not voted in our elections.

For five years, United Response has campaigned for the democratic rights of people with learning disabilities. Our award-nominated Every Vote Counts campaign spread awareness of the right to vote among people with learning disabilities, while also ensuring all the political parties released simply worded “easy read” manifestos for the first time in political history. The result was that the number of people with learning disabilities who voted doubled in 2010.

However, it’s not enough to simply create awareness around elections. Full democratic engagement only comes if you are informed of what happens in between elections and vote on this evidence. For that reason, United Response has won funding for a highly innovative new pilot project which will make the news and politics accessible to people with learning disabilities in a way that hasn’t been done before.

We are launching this exciting project on 23rd January at 4.30 in the House of Commons. The event, hosted by Martyn Lewis (both United Response’s President and a former newsreader) will be of interest to all those who care about the democratic rights of people with learning disabilities, as well as all MPs interested in reaching out to this large untapped group of potential voters.

Jaime Gill, Head of Press and Public Affairs, United Response