The team behind United Response’s accessible news magazine, Easy News, are far more used to translating the breaking stories than being the subject of the news themselves, but that all changed on Saturday when the magazine for people with learning disabilities was featured on Channel 4 News.

The report was about the barriers that people with learning disabilities experience when voting. Alongside footage of a hustings organised by Mencap, the piece included interviews with several of United Response’s UR Consultants, who themselves have learning disabilities and/or autism. They spoke about how they use simple words and images to bring the news to the 1.5 million people with learning disabilities in the UK - in the form of Easy News.

Raising awareness about accessibility and the right to vote

Despite having the same right to vote as everyone else, people with learning disabilities are far less likely to vote than the rest of the population. A lack of awareness about people’s right to vote, along with a lack of easy-to-understand information about voting, have both been highlighted as key issues by United Response through our Every Vote Counts campaign.

Easy News was created by United Response back in 2013 as a way of helping people with learning disabilities gain an understanding of the big events and political news happening in the world, and involve them in the debate.

UR Consultant Shanna told Channel 4 News: “News is often too hard to understand as big words are used that are not very simple. I misunderstand what [politicians] are saying sometimes.”

We would like to thank Channel 4 for raising awareness of this important issue. We hope that others will follow suit in the coming weeks to ensure that the votes of people with learning disabilities are counted on polling day.

Find out more about politics and Easy News

Click here to sign up to Easy News. Or, to find out more about the Every Vote Counts campaign and politics in general, please visit our easy read website www.everyvotecounts.org.uk.

Gemma Taylor, media assistant.