Last week I attended the official launch of the One in Five campaign at the Parliament. It was great to talk with three inspiring activists Pam Duncan, Labour campaigner and human rights equality activist, Peter Lockhart, Fife Councillor and Gordon Aikman, policy researcher who has become well known and admired for his campaigning to raise awareness and funds to tackle Motor Neurone Disease.
The One in Five campaign is raising awareness of the fact that one in five people of working age in Scotland has a disability. Such a high number makes it vital that we ensure that people are not excluded or discriminated against when it comes to work, society or politics.
The five key things that One in Five is campaigning for are that :
- All members are asked about individual needs which are actioned to ensure inclusion
- Meetings are held in accessible venues
- Material is available in a variety of formats
- Organisational tasks and responsibilities are clearly defined yet remain flexible enough to empower individual member’s ability
- That organisations aim to increase the awareness and understanding of issues affecting disabled people and strives to include and empower all members
Scottish Labour has always campaigned for equality and is actively supporting this campaign. We believe it’s an important element of our ambitions to increase political participation: we need to ensure that political representation reflects our society accurately.
I have always tried to make all my public meetings, events and publications accessible to all and know how important it is to empower political participation amongst disabled people in Scotland. In the Review of Scottish Labour which Jim Murphy and I carried out in 2011 we supported practical measures to encourage members to come forward and to provide support for our disabled members once they are elected. I am proud to add my support to the One in Five charter to promote equality and involvement and hope that it gains widespread cross party support.
More details on the campaign for individuals and organisations can be found here http://www.oneinfive.scot/sign-the-one-in-five-charter/