31/03/2015 09:10 BST | Updated 30/05/2015 06:59 BST

Campaign to Bolster the Voice of Disabled Voters in Scotland


Tuesday sees the launch of the One in Five Campaign at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh with Scottish politicians Christina McKelvie, Ken Macintosh, Mary Scanlon, Patrick Harvie, Willie Rennie and the Scottish Socialist Party's Sandra Webster coming together to pledge their support.

The campaign backed by by the leaders of the six main political parties in Scotland aims to increase the political participation of disabled people.

Following the Scottish Independence Referendum and the groundswell of political interest it inspired, the group have launched a five-point charter which focuses on breaking down barriers by imploring organisers and organisations to consider the needs of disabled people.

With one in five people of working age in Scotland having a disability, equality campaigner and SNP member Jamie Szymkowiak set up the One in Five Campaign with Labour Party activist Pam Duncan-Glancy. Speaking about her motivations for setting up the organisation, Pam said:

"Very often, disabled people don't even get close to Politics, sometimes they can't even get through the door of a local campaign meeting. That's why the One in Five charter is so important - it is one other step along the way to the Political empowerment of disabled people."

While the 2015 general election is just around the corner, the campaign has a long term aim to change the face of politics in Scotland forever. By recognising the needs of disabled people the campaign hopes to bolster political participation by this under represented group in Scottish politics.

With the campaign focussed on the mantra that politics should be representative of the communities it serves, co-founder Jamie Szymkowiak told me:

"Scotland has witnessed a huge upsurge in political interest in recent years and I want to ensure disabled people are included in all areas of our democracy through a positive campaign, regardless of which political party you support. There are many organisations out there campaigning day-in-day-out for the rights of disabled people. We want to add our voice to that."

You can find out more information or show your support for the One in Five Campaign by visiting or by following the group on Twitter or Facebook.

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