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Access to Elected Office for Disabled People Fund – BDA response

13 July 2012

The British Deaf Association (BDA) warmly welcomes the introduction of the Access to Elected Office for Disabled People Fund. This will enable Deaf people to apply for funding to get BSL interpreters when they stand for elections.

At the official launch, held at the House of Commons on Monday 9th July, Lynne Featherstone MP (Minister for Equalities) and Maria Miller MP (Minister for Disabled People) spoke to a range of stakeholders, including representatives from a number of disability organisations, user led organisations and political parties

David Buxton, the BDA's Chief Executive, attended the launch and applauded the introduction of this much needed fund - "I have been campaigning for a fund such as this to be introduced  since early 1990s after my own experiences of being elected as a borough councillor and standing on two occasions for Parliament. I had to pay thousands of pounds out of my own pocket for communication support so I could demonstrate my own political, communication and campaigning skills at a local, regional and national level.” 

Added David Buxton: “This new Fund will empower Deaf individuals with political ambitions to be able to get more involved in their political parties and become prospective candidate at the next election. One day we believe there will be a Deaf BSL Member of Parliament. The only concern is whether the grants made be enough to cover all the costs? But at last this is a start!"