Government Equalities Office
The EnAble Fund is provided by the Government Equalities Office and is administered by Disability Rights UK. The Fund was launched on 3 December 2018, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
This interim fund replaces the Access to Elected Office Fund , which was frozen by the government in 2015 after three years in operation.
Objectives of Fund
People with disabilities are likely to face greater costs when seeking elected office due to their disability. The EnAble Fund for Elected Office has been established to support disabled people seeking election in the Local Elections in May 2019 and the Police and Crime Commissioner Elections in May 2020.
The overall aim of the Fund is to create a level playing field for disabled people and those with a long-term health condition - not to give anyone an unfair advantage. The Fund will cover the additional financial costs associated with a disability or health condition, that would otherwise prevent someone from seeking elected office.
This fund is worth £250,000 in total.
Levels of individual support have not been outlined.
The fund can cover the cost of the reasonable adjustments required to enable someone to stand for elected office. This could include items such as BSL interpreters, assistive technology, a personal assistant to assist with specific tasks, or taxi fares where other modes of transport are not appropriate.
Who Can Apply
Individuals in the UK who have a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities may qualify.
Applicants must have a genuine intention to seek elected office, for an election that takes place during the timescale of the Fund. These will include Local Government Elections in May 2019 and Police and Crime Commissioner Elections in May 2020.
For a full list of local authorities that will have elections on 2 May 2019, see: www.local.gov.uk/about/our-meetings-and-leadership/political-composition/local-government-elections
The item(s) the Fund pays for are those that without which, the applicant would not be able to seek elected office. For example, funding for taxis would only be considered where other forms of transport are not an option due to the nature of the applicant’s disability or health condition. Similarly, a Personal Assistant would have to be deemed necessary due to the person’s health-related needs, as opposed to being used as “extra help”.
The Fund cannot pay for any costs that are not considered a reasonable adjustment, such as costs directly associated with campaigning or campaign materials; nor can it pay for any ongoing reasonable adjustments or further support if the applicant is elected.
Applicants can bid for a range of support, including:
transport support for mobility impaired candidates;
specialist equipment such as screen reader software;
British Sign Language (BSL) interpretation for hearing impaired candidates during election campaigns; and
the transcription of campaign material into braille for visually impaired candidates.
How To Apply
The Fund was launched on 3 December 2018 and will be open for 15 months.
Applications should be made at the applicant’s earliest convenience.
To find out how to apply and to discuss eligibility, interested parties should call 0330 995 0400 and select Option 1 or email [email protected]
Useful documents & links
Addresses and contacts
For further information on how to obtain this grant locally, please contact the following:
Disability Rights UK
14 East Bay Lane
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Tel: 0330 995 0400 - Option 1
Email: [email protected]