Disability Matters Vote Campaign Starts Now!

NEWS RELEASE                                                                                  For

immediate release

DISABILITY MATTERS VOTE CAMPAIGN LAUNCHES SIMULTANEOUSLY WITH ELECTION CALL

June 20, 2019—Winnipeg, MB -- A grassroots, non-partisan campaign that surprised political watchers in 2016 when it rallied the support of thousands of Manitobans, is sending the message that Manitobans with disabilities - and those affected by disabilities – have enough strength in numbers to determine the outcome of the September 10 election.

 “People with disabilities and affected by them are not a special interest group. We represent one in four voting Manitobans. People with disabilities have a strong voice and will have a say in this election,” said Disability Matters Vote (DMVote) spokesperson Margo Powell.

The province-wide campaign officially launches today with three priorities:

·         To ensure all Manitobans with disabilities can participate fully in election activities and that those who are eligible to vote are able to do so

·         To promote priority attention for disability issues in the election

·         To support Manitobans with disabilities in making informed voting decisions

Disability Matters Vote will have constituency captains working in swing ridings. Campaigners will be door-knocking, rush hour rallies will be organized and plans for debates are already underway. Lawn signs are already popping up in many Manitoba communities.

Campaign spokespeople David Kron and Margo Powell say the team is mobilizing growing quickly and volunteers are prepared to work tirelessly to get out the vote  and to make sure the message that disability issues matter is heard loud and clear.

In 2016, Disability Matters Vote rallied 1,600 people in the Manitoba Legislature rotunda. Yard signs went up in communities across the province, including in Northern Manitoba. More than 3000 supporters officially signed onto the campaign and social media response was overwhelming.

The leaders of all political parties with at least one seat in the legislature made public commitments on the disability issues they would address, if elected.

DMVote will again post all aspiring elected officials and leaders’ responses to specific questions on commitments they will make relating to key disability issues. Their answers will be shared at www.dmvote.ca,

The campaign will also coordinate media access to agency advocates, spokespeople, and people with disabilities who can provide commentary on the issues. 

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About Disability Matters: Vote

Disability Matters Vote is a non-partisan public awareness campaign which is a joint initiative of Abilities Manitoba and Barrier Free Manitoba.

The campaign represents all Manitobans with disabilities, their family members and friends, support workers, and everyone working within the disabilities sector.

About Disabilities in Manitoba

Over 250,000 people of voting age in Manitoba have a disability. As the population ages, most of us will eventually face some kind of disability. Manitobans with disabilities reflect the broad diversity of the population with respect to age, gender, race, religion, ethno-cultural communities and political perspectives.

Although widespread, disabilities are a particularly important issue for both First Nations and Metis communities as their community members are at least twice as likely as Non-Aboriginal people to have a disability.

Types of disabilities represented in the campaign include, but are not limited to: vision, hearing, physical, intellectual, developmental, learning, mental health, speech or language, deaf-blind, and chronic pain.

Media contact:

Toby McCrae

tmccrae@stamant.ca

1.204.770.4234

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