BBC News: Election 2010 BBC News

Page last updated at 15:56 GMT, Thursday, 15 April 2010 16:56 UK

Delay in Labour braille and audio manifesto criticised

Labour manifesto
Labour was the first of the three largest parties to issue their manifesto

Labour have been criticised for not making its manifesto available to blind people and those with learning difficulties more quickly.

Disability charity Scope said the Conservatives and Lib Dems had issued their manifestos in braille and audio versions but Labour had yet to do so.

It said this was "disappointing" given the number of people reliant on them.

Labour said they would release these alternative formats shortly.

Before the campaign began, parties were urged to produce manifestos in an easy to understand form, including visual material where possible, for people with learning disabilities.

Charities said the lack of suitable formats was one of the main reasons why voting rates among those with learning difficulties was much lower than the population as a whole.

'Accessible'

After the three parties published their respective documents, Scope said it was important they were accessible to the estimated 15,000 disabled voters in each constituency.

"While both the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives have produced their manifesto in alternative formats, including EasyRead for voters with learning difficulties and audio, disappointingly the Labour manifesto is currently not available in these formats," its spokeswoman said.

A Labour spokesman said alternative formats had been produced, with the audio version recorded by actor Richard Wilson.

"We are making Labour's manifesto available in braille, audio, Text File and EasyRead as well as in the standard edition which is already on Labour's website," he said.

"Braille copies are arriving over the next day or two and will be made available via our campaign shop."



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