Disability Action Haringey created awareness raising activity for the GLA Voter ID campaign amongst the D/deaf and disabled communities of Haringey and Islington through multiple tailored delivery methods. This was best demonstrated when engaging with members of the St John’s Deaf Community Centre in Manor House.
Two British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters and a video with BSL overlay were used to ensure that the information was not only appropriately imparted, but that we could ensure understanding among attendees, and provide the necessary one-to-one support needed for those wishing to apply for appropriate photo ID to vote in person.
The response from the community was amazing and demonstrated full engagement and crucial feedback. As an organisation, we also benefitted from feedback regarding the speed of BSL interpretation on videos and how to reach out and engage with deaf residents who don’t regularly interact with the wider deaf community and therefore are more isolated from crucial information.
We were able to assess current levels of approved photo ID ownership and subsequently help individuals to apply for the most appropriate photo ID from the options available to them.
Attendees appreciated the increase in their awareness in terms of when elections would be taking place and where to cast their votes, in addition to the new photo ID requirements to vote in person.
The GLA Voter ID Awareness Campaign galvanised interest in voting and prompted a renewed interest in the election of political candidates. Londoners from every sector of the community were encouraged to debate what was needed at a local level and across neighbouring borders, and we as an organisation were able to impartially inform, learn from and support the communities which we serve to access their democratic rights.
We look forward to maintaining and developing the new relationships that we have built through the process, and, in regard to the St John’s Deaf community, very much look forward to working together with them to further empower their wider community to grow and flourish.