A hustings is a meeting where potential candidates for an election talk to voters. On Tuesday 30 May I will be at a Disability Hustings Event where disabled people pose questions to these candidates, raise issues, and tell them what they think should be prioritised if they are in post after the general election.
My name is Emma Blackmore. I am a 29 year old who was born with Congenital Rubella Syndrome. My lifelong ambition is to help others and that’s where Sense comes in. Not only have I been a member of Sense since I was 14 years old but I work at the Sense Woodside Family Centre in my home town, Bristol. I am also part of Sense’s Campaigners’ Network.
I am attending the hustings as I feel everyone needs to have a voice and some find it harder to make their voices heard. For disabled people this is our chance to speak. Our voices might be in the form of speech, sign, or through an interpreter. These voices are important and count!
I am excited to go to this event and meet everyone else. I hope on this day that together we can make a stand for our rights as people, put our views and questions to the candidates who hope to be future MPs, and leave with a positive outcome.
Questions I will ask include:
- Is there going to be more support in our local communities? I for one have struggled in fighting for this support.
- Is there going to be more awareness of employment support including Access to Work? I work four hours a week with Sense and have Access to Work. However a lot of my friends, many of whom are disabled, have never heard of Access to Work until I mentioned it.
- How can accessibility of healthcare services be improved? As many disabled people do, I struggle when going to healthcare services.
I hope the next government will take everyone’s needs into consideration before making decisions. I hope they will take time to have conversations with people who are directly affected by the changes the government make.
Everyone has a voice and everyone needs to be heard.
Emma is a member of the Campaigners’ Network, which you can join to make your voice heard, and support Sense with campaigns.