Manifestos and other campaign material inform the electorate about different parties’ policy priorities and can be an important element in deciding how to vote. Accessibility can be achieved by ensuring that manifestos are available in alternative formats suitable for people with different types of impairment, for example large print, braille, easy-to-read or audio versions. The independence of political parties means that they do not necessarily carry this formal obligation unless national legislative requirements are in place.
The analysis indicates a lack of available data from which to make comparisons between Member States about the number of political parties who make their manifestos and campaign material accessible for persons with disabilities. Levels of accessibility vary between different parties in the same country and according to the types of information they provide. The following map presents data on the known availability of party political campaign material in accessible formats during the most recent elections.
Were some political party manifestos provided in accessible formats during the most recent elections?
Sources: FRA, 2014
FRA research found evidence of accessible party political manifestos being produced in 14 of the 28 EU Member States. In Spain, for example, several parties offered electoral programmes for the general elections adapted to persons with intellectual disabilities and for the regional elections one party offered its programme in braille and on a CD including audio description, subtitles and Catalan sign language interpretation. In Finland, almost half of political parties offered their campaign material for the 2009 European Parliament elections in braille.
Data from Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland and Slovenia indicate the no political parties produced their manifestos in accessible formats for the last elections. In the remaining Member States, no data was identified regarding whether political parties had produced their campaign material in alternative formats during the most recent elections.