The 2017 General Election is fast approaching and the parties have all published their manifestos. So how do they score on accessibility?;
|Main presentation: PDF with text and images||Main Presentation: Webpage||Main Presentation: Webpage||Main Presentation: Webpage||Main presentation: PDF with text and images||Main presentation: PDF with text and images|
|PDF text and images||PDF text and images||PDF with text and images||PDF with text and images||PDF text and images||PDF text and images|
|Missing: British Sign Language||British Sign Language||British Sign Language||British Sign Language||Missing: British Sign Language||Missing: British Sign Language|
|Electronic Braille||Electronic Braille||Electronic Braille||Electronic Braille|
|Large Font||Large Print Manifesto|
|Easy read available soon||Easy Read||Easy Read Manifesto||Easy Read Manifesto|
|Audio||Audio||Audio Summary||Audio Summary|
The Conservative party presents their manifesto as a single pdf document.
In the footer of the page is a link to the accessible versions which are hosted on a separate page. The braille format is split into two volumes as brf files, the audio is a single 67minute mp3 file and the large font manifesto is a pdf. There is note to say that BSL versions of the manifesto will be available soon, currently the election is just over a week away.
Additional Manifesto’s in various subject areas. The Disability Manifesto is available in PDF, Easy Read, BSL, Braille and Audio versions.
The Green Party website initially confused me as I was looking for the word “Manifesto” on the front page. The main manifesto is referred to as the Green Guarantee. The contents of which are clearly and elegantly shown on a series of webpages.
There are multiple other versions on offer via a text link on the Green Guarantee page going to the “All manifestos & alternative formats” page. However this is the only link I could find in the whole website. There is no link in either the header or the footer.
In addition to the Green Guarantee there are a series of manifestos in various sub topics. The Disability section has a BSL version available, the Animal Protection, Environment, LGBTIQA+, Women and Youth sections do not.
It might be worth noting that the manifesto page explicitly states support for the BSL (England & Wales) Act to make BSL an officially recognised language.
The website presents the manifesto on a special manifesto webpage that leaves behind the format of the Labour Party website and focuses solely on the manifesto. The page is full screen with no header or footer and the accessible versions are linked via a large red button.
Of note a simple summary of the manifesto is presented by Dawn Butler MP and a full BSL presentation running at about an hour and half is also present. A wide range of accessible formats are available.
The Liberal Democrats present a page dedicated to minute and a half BSL summaries of their key manifesto points.
On a reasonably thorough search I couldn’t find the UKIP manifesto in any other format.
On a reasonably thorough search I couldn’t find the SNP manifesto in any other format. There is note to say that accessible versions of the manifesto will be available soon, currently the election is just over a week away.
In summary in 2017 accessibility for General Election is still a problem. The Labour party is the only party to present their manifesto in full, in BSL. Currently 9 days out from election day The Liberal Democrats and Labour are the only parties to have BSL versions of their manifestos.
The braille and large print versions of various manifestos are readily available as digital files. Easy read version are either digital downloads or used as webpage content for online viewing of a manifesto. Audio files in general are abundant with Labour managing to score 8th Doctor and of Withnail & I co-star Paul McGann. Text colour, size or font options for people with visual impairments or processing issues are non-existent.
The General Election cycle this year is extremely short. Prime Minister Teresa May’s snap decision on the 18 April to call an election for the 08th of June caught many by surprise. The associated year long election media circus is now compressed into barely 2 months. Accessibility seems to have fallen to the wayside in the ensuing scramble.