News & Events News Charlotte Speaks at AEA Conference We are very proud of our ambassador Charlotte who made a huge impact in our campaign to make voting more accessible for people with learning disabilities and additional needs. Charlotte gave a fantastic speech to the Minister for the Constitution Chloe Smith MP and the Association of Electoral Administrators (AEA) at their annual conference in Brighton on the 4th of February. The AEA is the professional body that represents electoral administrators in the UK. Charlotte spoke to the conference about Polling Station Accessibility from a voter’s point of view. She shared her experience of local elections and voting with Chloe Smith MP and an audience of over 300 delegates, as a young person with learning disabilities in Harrow. Charlotte said: “I didn’t know what elections were until I started volunteering with Harrow Mencap three year ago. I voted for the first time in the 2017 Election. I took part in a hustings organised by them and Yvonne Lee from Harrow Mencap’ Advocacy and Engagement team supported me and came with me on voting day. People with learning disabilities may need help to vote, but they have the same right to be heard and vote like anyone else. It’s important that people working in the polling stations offer support.” Our Advocacy and Engagement team worked with Charlotte to develop her speech and get her points across. Our Head of Advocacy and engagement Yvonne Lee had this to say: “We are very proud of Charlotte, she delivered a brilliant speech which showed the challenges that people with learning difficulties face with the electoral process and at polling stations. Harrow Mencap has been giving individuals, carers and families a voice for many years. It’s important that local voters have a say in our electoral process regardless of any disabilities.” The AEA were very grateful to Charlotte for her great contribution to their conference. The Chief Executive of the AEA Peter Stanyon, said: "We'd like to thank Charlotte for sharing her experience and ideas on how electoral administrators can make both registering to vote and voting more accessible for people with a learning disability. We and our members are fully supportive of any work that improves accessibility for the entire electorate, and we will continue to work with the Cabinet Office, Electoral Commission and disability charities to support our members to identify and eliminate as many barriers as possible."