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Accessible Polling Stations Campaign Pays Off

Accessible Polling Stations Campaign Pays Off

A Sheffield campaigner has spoken of her success in ensuring more of the city’s polling stations are accessible to disabled people.

Anne Everson, an advocate at Disability Sheffield and ex-social worker, started her campaign three years ago after noticing that wheelchair users at the Springfield Tavern in Walkley had to vote outdoors. Although Sheffield City Council said this counted as a ‘reasonable adjustment’ she was not satisfied and when she recently discovered that other polling stations – at Hallamshire Tiles and Walkley Library – were also inaccessible, she took to social media and gained more support. Anne also found and notified the Council of an alternative venue herself.

Due to her efforts and just before the elections took place this week Walkley Library polling station was moved to Ebenezer Methodist Church and the Hallamshire Tiles polling station was moved to Crookesmoor Lifelong Learning Centre.

ā€œIā€™m passionate about being a woman and everybody having the right to vote,” said Anne. “Because people died to get that right, and that includes for people with disabilities.ā€

“It’s taught me that you have to be persistent and not accept no for an answer. Because I’ve been fobbed off for at least three years and been told, ‘There’s nothing we can do about it.’ And actually, there was.ā€

You can read the article in full written by disabled journalist Philippa Willitts, for ‘Now Then’ magazine here.

As we reported in our article Make Voting a Accessible Experience for Everyone there are still many adjustments required to ensure that all polling stations can be used by all disabled voters .


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