Campaigning activities

Peter Baker posted on Facebook on 4 March 2017:

Hi everyone, I am a ward organiser in South East London, and I’ve been trying to get some ideas together on involving disabled people in campaigning. While digital involvement is important, I want to try and involved people in other ways too. I want to make them feel like they are welcome and an important part of the local party, and I think campaigning is a good way to get people involved.

Locally I’m trying to encourage door knocking on specific local issues, but that isn’t accessible for people with mobility problems. While people have suggested stalls, I’m not particularly happy with that being the only response I received. Would anyone here be able to suggest other ways of campaigning that disabled people would be more able to participate in?

Thank you in advance!

8 comments on “Campaigning activities”:

  1. When organising meetings, not only look at access in, around and out of the venue, but also the acoustics of the room it will be held in (ie is their too much echo when someone speaks, movement), does it require a loop system, interpreter, signer for BSL or Makaton. The list is endless but vital so it is user-friendly for not only abled body people but also all disabled people wishing to attend a meeting or come to that an event.

  2. Our CLP has a Standing Order which requires that ALL Party meetings (including social gatherings in public venues) must have wheelchair access.

  3. Set up issue specific WordPress sites, invite members to invite their contacts, tweet and Facebook the issue specific sites. The sites would give information, updates, enable issue specific discussions resulting in new ideas about the issues and about campaigning, invite your local voluntary and community sector groups to participate online – especially the disability specific organisations, link your sites to related sites, write good Google friendly copy for your sites and make sure they are accessible…

  4. Christine Tongue replied:

    First need is accessible meeting venues. And then a welcoming attitude and the disabled just become people with a variety of talents who can tell you what they’re able to do.

  5. Paul Johnson replied:

    Hi this is one of the most valuable posts I have seen in a while. I have many hurdles to cross. I am not wheelchair bound. But I use a scooter because I kept collapsing. I can walk short distances. I cannot get around too far because IBS and I admit to panic attacks which is agrophobia in effect and I suffer depression. Because I have a few friends from momentum who have helped me get to meetings and now Labour meetings, I have become secretary. My point is many disabled lack confidence or the means to get places and get involved like myself. We feel trapped and cut off. Even with our families being at home you become a burden. Transport to door knocking and other events locally with people like me in mind would engage the unengageable. Plus it would help them in ways you would not understand.

  6. Alex Doodle replied:

    Some door knocking is accessible it just needs to be well planned, certain roads, houses and towerblocks are accessible. If you have these mapped out in each borough, it’s possible to include people in an element of door knocking, or if you doing stuff in shopping areas to talk to people (some shopping areas malls, centres can be accessible, shops on high street not so, but outside can be).

    It’s also understanding the pavements with door knocking not just steps to a house. It may be a street while it has access to each door yet the pavements and curbs completely inaccessible. I’m assuming you don’t do this individually, but at least in pairs? It depends on individual disabilities obviously people Using wheelchairs are only one type of disability. When I had less physical disabilities more mental health. If someone had come and picked me up to go door knocking I’d of been ok, but I just would of struggled getting there by myself to a meeting point. I guess it’s finding out what a persons needs are, if they need someone coming to them or meeting up before hand just so they know who they will be working with as another example, to help with confidence or reassurance as examples, a chance to feel planning strategy organised, not chaotic (this is me).

    Have an accessible meeting place get the local disabled labour people together and ask them how they want to contribute and campaign. They may choose to meet at one of their houses and do phoning, if a phone centre not accessible or too noisy, they may have totally different ideas, that we don’t think of and could also relate to your area.

    I’m hoping in the future to get back into my art and graphic design stuff. I’d like to be able to contribute this to my local party (posters etc). People will have different skills and be open to contributing in different ways.

    Thank you for wanting to help navigate a space and place for disabled people in the party.

  7. Christine Tongue replied:

    Stalls are good if you have a strategic place to sit with your banner and leaftets. People will come and talk to you. It might be easier where we are in Broadstairs but worth trying in any town centre.

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