Enable Ireland Dun Laoghaire Voter Education Programme Report

Enable Ireland Adult Disability Service based in Dun Laoghaire embarked on a programme to raise the levels of awareness, understanding an interest in the importance of using your right to vote.

The intention was raise the levels of awareness on voting issues in preparation for the upcoming general elections due in Ireland in 2007. Encouraging and supporting people to register to vote was also an important aim of the voter programme.

In order to achieve the above aims and objectives Enable Ireland contacted The Vincentian Partnership for Social Justice who were generous through there offer to deliver their Active Citizenship Programme on Voter Education to our Service. The details of the programme were as follows:

Programme: Voter Education : One Voice, One Vote

Location: Enable Ireland Adult Service, Dun Laoghaire

Dates: 22 nd March to 12 th April 2006

Facilitator: Carina Fitzgerald ( With support from Gary Morris)

Participants : 11 Service Users and 5 Staff ( 16 Total)

Programme Plan : The programme the history of voting, the importance of voting, the electoral and voting system and special provisions for people with disabilities who wish to vote. The programme also highlighted the key political leaders and current local councillors and TD’s, along with each individual parties key political statements. The group involved also identified what issues they felt were important and discussed lobbying strategies to have their voice heard.

An important aspect of the voter education programme for Dun Laoghaire was that it was tailored to meet the needs of people with disabilities and people with literacy difficulties. This was achieved through adopting different training techniques such as role play, pictures, drawing, photographs and importantly the involvement and support from Enable Ireland Staff also participating on the programme.

By working together with the Vincentia Partnership it was possible achieve lively, creative and exciting training sessions that everyone was able to share in and learn from. The training finished on a high note with each participant receiving their Voter Education Certificate.

Finally, every Service User who participated on the Voter Awareness programme registered to vote and are now eligible to vote in next years general election.

Enable Ireland hope to continue the good work that has been established through the introduction of the Voter Education programme and develop this training further in the New Year with the continued support of the Vincentian Partnership.

Gary Morris November 2006