Disability History Scotland and Inclusion Scotland co-sponsored a Disabled People’s Question Time election hustings at the Macdonald Holyrood Hotel on Friday April 29th 2016.
The first half of the event was be hosted by Phyl Meyer of Inclusion Scotland, who provided details on the Access to Politics initiative for disabled activists and volunteers, including a new Democratic Participation Fund offering assistance to disabled candidates running for Scottish councils in 2017. Further information on Access to Politics can be found here.
For the second half of the afternoon, participants were divided into five groups covering the topics of transport, social care, employment, health and new social security powers. After some spirited discussion each group devised a topic-based question for the candidates, with emphasis on the rights and needs of disabled people, and a desired answer. When the candidates (Kris Chapman for the Liberal Democrats, Marco Biagi for the SNP, Cat Headley for Labour, Ian McGill for the Conservatives, and Dan Heap for the Scottish Green Party) they were each assigned a table, where they discussed topics with participants in greater depth.
And then… the hustings itself, ably chaired by Disability History Scotland’s
very own Dimbleby Sasha Callaghan! The candidates were asked the chosen question on each topic and, following some spirited debate, given feedback from participants based on their desired answer. The outcome was a unique event for candidates and participants alike and, judging by our feedback, a very successful one.
— Access to Politics (@AP4DP_Scot) April 29, 2016
— Kris Chapman (@Mr_KrisC) April 29, 2016
— Dan Heap (@danheaped) April 29, 2016
Inclusion Scotland intends to run further hustings and debates in this format, and DHS and Inclusion Scotland will be cooperating on further events later this year. Stay tuned…