1. States should require political parties, state and local institutions on all levels, broadcasting corporations and other bodies in receipt of state subsidies, licensing or funding to ensure that persons with disabilities have access to information which falls within the field of their activities, and that their infrastructure enables the meaningful participation of persons with disabilities, including but not limited to:
a) Mainstreaming disability and the rights of persons with disabilities, including the right to freedom of expression, into their activities;
b) Making sure that election information, political debates, campaigns and events are accessible to persons with disabilities and information is available in all necessary alternative formats, and are easy to understand;
c) Ensuring political parties organise their public meetings and events in an accessible way;
d) Guarantee the right to vote and provide reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities to participate in elections at all levels. In particular, where persons with disabilities need assistance in order to vote or express their opinion, the state should ensure that, for example, they are allowed to be accompanied by a person of their choice in the voting booth when casting their vote. “Assistance” here means helping the person with disabilities to express his or her decision, not taking the decision in his or her place.
2. States should make sure that persons with disabilities and/or their representative organisations are involved in the whole policy cycle: programming, planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating policies that affect persons with disabilities and their communities. States should support the active, free and meaningful participation of individuals, communities and groups representing them in decision- making processes– at national, regional and local levels – by:
a) Ensuring that consultation processes are not merely superficial or limited to overall information sharing, but are conducted in good faith and provide real and meaningful opportunities to freely and actively influence decisions. This should include ensuring that:
i. All related information is communicated in accessible formats in an efficient manner, at the start of the decision-making and throughout the process at an appropriate time, through multiple channels and using culturally appropriate procedures;
ii. Meetings are organised in locations that can be easily accessed, and in a manner that renders them accessible to persons with disabilities;
iii. Consultations begin at the start of the initiative, process or project and sufficient and reasonable time is allocated at every stage for the public participation of persons with disabilities;
iv. Funds are appropriately spent on interventions that are needed and which strengthen the capacity of persons with disabilities to engage;
v. Appeal mechanisms are available for affected persons with disabilities and their communities if they believe that their opinions were not fairly considered.
3. States should take effective steps to ensure that women with disabilities are fully included in decision-making processes concerning them. They should promote gender- sensitive participatory processes that both empower women and raise awareness of gender issues in the society at large.