Visually impaired ‘may struggle’ to access Welwyn Hatfield polling stations
THE chairman of a disability action group is seeking reassurances that polling stations in Welwyn Hatfield are as accessible as they are thought to be.
As reported last week, disability charity Scope has set up a website providing disabled access information on every polling station in the UK.
According to the database, polling stations in both Welwyn Hatfield and Potters Bar are all disabled accessible.
But Brian Wilson, chairman of the Welwyn Hatfield Access Group, said he feared local authorities, which provided the information, may have misinterpreted “disabled access” to mean wheelchair access – and not considered disabled people who do not use wheelchairs.
“That’s my gut feeling,” Mr Wilson said. “Under disabled equality duty, the council has to ensure that all polling stations are accessible for ALL disabled people.
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“I’m concerned about the visually impaired and those with learning disabilities.”
A spokeswoman for Welwyn Hatfield Council said: “It’s the council’s responsibility to ensure that the service is accessible.
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“It also makes sure that all presiding officers and poll clerks are sensitive to the needs of residents and able to assist any voter who has any difficulty whatsoever.”
A spokeswoman for Hertsmere Borough Council also said magnifiers and Braille cards are available for the blind or partially sighted.