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Wednesday, 3 October 2023

Help for disabled people who want to stand for election

Would you like to become an MP, local councillor or police and crime commissioner, but are worried about the extra barriers you may face because of your disability? The access to elected office programme offers support and money to help disabled people reduce those barriers. Find out more about the programme and what help's available.

What the access to elected office programme offers

The access to elected office programme provides practical support to help more disabled people stand for election.

The programme offers:

  • a fund to help candidates with the disability related costs of standing for election
  • training and development for people interested in a political career. This includes an introductory online training course and paid internships on the speaker's parliamentary placement scheme.

How to apply for the fund

The fund is open for application from disabled people until the end of March 2014.

The fund will help potential candidates overcome barriers like:

  • difficulties using public transport
  • paying for sign language interpreters
  • paying extra travel or accommodation costs if you need a carer
  • paying for additional specialist aids or equipment needed to run an election campaign

To apply for funding, you will need to provide:

  • confirmation that you are eligible to stand for elected office according to the Electoral Commission's guidelines
  • information about your disability and the extra costs you face because of your disability
  • evidence of previous, relevant civic or political activity. For example, volunteering, being a school governor or magistrate or being involved in student politics

All fund applications will also be asked to provide endorsement by a member of a political party, or an independent referrer if you are standing as an independent candidate.

Find out more about standing for office

If you would like to know more about standing for elected office, the online training provides an introduction to the skills you might need.

The training covers:

  • becoming an elected representative
  • communication skills
  • working with the public and media.

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