Right to Vote for People with Disabilities

Updated: May 2016

This radio spot was aired on FM Radio Bagan in Myanmar several times in March 2012 to increase awareness on the political rights and electoral accessibility for persons with disabilities. The conversation takes place in a tea shop between two friends who are discussing voting rights and inclusion for persons with disabilities.




(Both men are speaking in Myanmar)

First man: “On my way into the office this morning, I have deeply felt for a disabled person with a wheelchair who is selling lottery tickets at the bus station.”

Second man: “Yes, me too. I also have empathy for him. He never gives up, and is struggling to live with his capabilities.

First man: “You are right. There are a lot of persons with disabilities in society like him. According to the World Report on Disability published in 2011, 15% of the world’s population are living with disabilities. Based on this calculation, there are six million persons with disabilities in Myanmar.”

Second man: “Who is included in the population with disabilities?”

First man: “Basically persons with physical, visual or hearing impairment, and persons with intellectual disability. In addition, persons with HIV/AIDS, persons with chronic diseases and elderly persons are also included in the disability population.”

Second man: “Our country is now marching in the new democratic state which will be equal for all; including poor citizens, citizens with different skin color and male and female citizens, etc. In this condition, citizens with disabilities in Myanmar also will be improving their rights, particularly the right to access health care services, the right to education, the right to work, the right to access public transportation and the right to participate in various social development activities as others.”

First man: “One man with a disability who I know is very active and is now excited to vote in the coming by-election to ensure his rights. He is a wheelchair user.”

Second man: “Really?? That’s great.”

First man: “He likes to vote in the election by himself. People with disabilities love to receive equal treatment and be warmly welcomed by the officers when they go to the polling stations. They don’t like any special treatment or others looking down at their disability.”

Second man: “If so, what is the best way to help persons with visual impairment by the polling station officers?”

First man: “Accessible assistances and facilities are needed for them. Besides, people with other types of disabilities also need appropriate support and assistance for them to vote.”

Second man: “Right! We all need to consider persons with different impairments, and prepare accessible environment and facilities for them.”

First man: “That’s right. It means we are building an equal and inclusive society for all in which everybody can participate and enjoy.”

-- End of transcript --