Significant challenges to the political participation of persons with disabilities
The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) has published a summary report in all EU languages that outlines some of the difficulties people with disabilities have in exercising their right to political participation across the 28 EU Member States.
The findings show that, given the opportunity, people with disabilities actively participate in politics through voting, political meetings and engaging with elected officials. However, they also reveal that significant challenges to the political participation of persons with disabilities remain. These include:
- legal and administrative barriers: for example in 21 EU Member States some people deprived of legal capacity cannot vote;
- inaccessible buildings, information and processes that do not take into account the needs of people with all impairments;
- few opportunities to take part in political life due to a lack of support and engagement with disability groups;
- low levels of awareness about the needs of people with disabilities among the various organisations involved in political processes, such as election officials, political parties and communicators.
The report makes suggestions about how to improve political participation grouped according to the following themes:
- Lifting barriers
- Making political participation more accessible
- Expanding opportunities for political participation
- Increasing rights awareness
- Collecting data to measure political participation