Friday, 29 January 2016 16:43

SNP to hold first disabled conference

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‘GROUND-BREAKING OPPORTUNITY’ TO ADDRESS UNDERREPRESENTATION
 
 The SNP will today (Saturday) hold the party’s first ever Disabled Members Conference – aimed at breaking down the barriers faced by people with disabilities entering politics.


 
 The Conference to be held in Glasgow follows on from the success of the SNP Women’s Conferences which have successfully contributed to increased participation – and looks to address the underrepresentation of disabled people in politics.
 
 As well as a series of workshops – including personal testimonies from disabled elected members - the Conference will also hear from the First Minister, Minister for Mental Health Jamie Hepburn and Minister for Community Empowerment Marco Biagi.
 
 Conference organiser Jamie Szymkowiak said:
 
 “Today’s Conference is the first of its kind for any political party in Scotland – and I am delighted to see the SNP’s commitment to breaking down barriers faced by people with disabilities demonstrated again.  
 
 “For many people today’s conference will be their first political gathering and by sharing experiences I hope we will be able to encourage one another to become more politically active and in doing so expand the definition of activism itself.”
 
 SNP MSP Dennis Robertson – who will lead a workshop on being a disabled representative at the Conference – said:
 
 “For almost 200 people with disabilities to be gathering for the first disabled conference of any political party in Scotland is deeply inspiring – and represents a great opportunity to nurture skills, encourage debate and empower our disabled members.  
 
 “The SNP Government is committed to increasing participation amongst people with disabilities – and recently announced a new fund to support disabled candidates standing for election.  
 
 “But there is still more work to be done and today’s Conference is a ground-breaking opportunity to discuss these issues – and to continue our progress towards ensuring that nobody in Scotland ever feels excluded from the political process because of a physical or mental impairment.”

Details of the Conference can be found here: http://www.snp.org/snp_disabled_member_conference