Campaigns and activities
As a general rule VI people with no other disabilities (physical, for example) do not experience any particular difficulties in attending pre-electoral meetings, except when these are held in the suburbs of large cities, which do not always have good public transport. In this case special transport services are often laid on.
However, although considerable efforts were made during the recent elections (presidential and parliamentary of May-June 2012), the accessibility of information in electronic forms (internet sites, blogs) or traditional media (flyers, programmes) is still very relative. The WAI rules are not respected, colour contrast and character size remain insufficient, recorded or braille documents are exceptions to the rule. Listening to radio or television broadcasts poses no particular problems. This year, for the first time, the official party political broadcasts are shown with audio description on the public TV channels.
The law of 2005 reinforced considerably the role of associations representing persons with disabilities by allowing them to participate in different bodies which make decisions concerning them. The most important are:
- The « Commission des Droits et de l'Autonomie des Personnes Handicapées » (commission for the rights and independence of people with disabilities) which attributes, within each department, social benefits and refers people with disabilities to specialized institutions or orientates them in the professional environment;
- commissions responsible for checking the accessibility of public, in each department, or any municipality of over 5,000 inhabitants;
- the Conseil National Consultatif des Personnes Handicapées (National Consultancy Council for People with Disabilities) who must be consulted before the publication of any text pertaining to the law of 2005, and is the permanent contact of the government for all disability-related questions.
VI associations play an important role in these commissions in spite of the fact that the state offers them no specific means of so-doing: their members are not paid, and transport costs are rarely covered by the institution concerned.