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‘A disability cannot be a barrier to elected politics’ says Armstrong

We should be doing more to encourage people with disabilities to come forward and take roles in public life, Alliance MLA Kellie Armstrong has said.

Strangford MLA Ms Armstrong – who has moderate hearing loss – said International Day of Disabled People, which is marked on December 3, is the perfect opportunity to highlight the need for more visibility for those with disabilities.

“As an MLA with a disability, I know only too well how difficult it can be for similar people to come forward in the first instance, and then take a role in public life,” she said.

“Those who have experienced first-hand the struggles many with disabilities can go through can talk with legitimacy about what is needed to improve our society for them. Throughout the pandemic, many people with disabilities have not had access to services, and with limited respite and day centre provision, many more continue to be left behind. It is vital we have people in public life who are involved in decision-making advocating the voices of carers.

“International Day of Disabled People is designed to help break down barriers to inclusion. It is the perfect opportunity to highlight why we need to make people with disabilities more visible and we need to encourage them to step forward and play their role in public life.”