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We Need People With Lived Experiences in Politics

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Emma Roddick MSP has highlighted the systemic barriers that still exist for people in politics, and the importance of tearing these down to give those with lived experiences the opportunity to contribute to policymaking.

Speaking at the Understanding, Supporting & Celebrating Autistic Lives Online Conference on Monday [17th June], Emma spoke about her experience of being a disabled woman in politics, and the struggles which come with this.

Emma highlighted the many accessibility issues that still exist in Parliament, such as rules on when you stand to speak, having no dress code and different opinions from others on what the dress expectations are, and the length of days with some beginning at 7am and finishing at 11pm at night.

All of the above contribute to the inaccessibility of politics to those who are neurodivergent.

Speaking after the conference, Emma said:

“It was great to be invited to speak to folk about my life in politics as a disabled woman.

“It is clear that there are still so many barriers in place that make politics inaccessible to neurodivergent people, but we must continue to break these barriers down as we need people in the policymaking process who have these lived experiences to ensure everyone is represented and understood.

“Being disabled or neurodivergent does not make you any less capable of contributing to public life and, if anything, only adds to what you can bring.

“It was a privilege to attend and to celebrate autism and the organisations who continue to support folk out there.

“I look forward to continuing to highlight the need to make politics more accessible and allow those with lived experiences the chance to contribute.”

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