For some reason I hardly have good news to talk about, but this week, in and amongst the turmoil currently going on throughout the world, there was a glimmer of hope for humanity here in our little neck of the woods; over-the-phone voting for people with disabilities.
This service will be available to those who are blind, partially blind, or have a physical disability that prevents them from marking their ballot papers independently.
This may seem like a somewhat small step, but it’s a step nonetheless and more importantly, a step in the right direction. As with everything, it took a significant amount of campaigning to make this happen, which cannot be ignored.
Anything that makes it easier for people with disabilities to exercise their democratic rights is a wonderful thing. All I seem to hear about are news stories about people ignoring the needs of my community. It is a much needed breath of fresh air to see someone, in this case the Electoral Commission, acknowledge this particular difficulty and putting measures in place to address the issue.
Most importantly, its acknowledging the fact that people with disabilities have something to say, and that is the most powerful aspect of this situation. Our quality of life and future prospects are deteriorating. With more people with disabilities being able to vote, governments and political parties will no longer be able to ignore the fact that we are, in fact, here.
Of course we still have an incredibly long way to go for equal rights, but with this being put in place it will allow for that change to finally happen.