Author Archives: Richard Whelan

Support requirements for disabled candidates with complex needs

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While much has been made about the success the Liberal Democrats have had in getting more women and BAME activists approved and selected as Parliamentary Candidates in winnable seats, little, if any, progress has been made in the approval and selection of winnable Parliamentary Candidates with Disabilities who, because of the complex needs that many of them have, require a significant amount of support just to reach the same levels of attainment as their able-bodied counterparts.

From my own experience, as an approved candidate with a physical disability, part of the problem, I suspect, concerns the lingering worries that persist among many local party members over whether a person with a physical disability, like myself, could carry out the duties that would be expected of them as a Parliamentary Candidate, and later MP, should they get elected at the subsequent General Election.

These worries are only natural, especially if a local party has never had such a candidate stand for them before.  What though has to be realised is that any support will depend on the duties that a particular local party will expect that candidate to perform, which will only become apparent once they have been selected, and an agreed campaign plan has been formulated, that sets out their role and their relationship to the other roles on their campaign team.

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