Hi there my name is Daniel Grice and for the past year, I’ve been a proud member of the Conservative Disability Group as well as being a member of the Executive. It’s been a privilege to serve this organisation up to this point and I hope to continue working with this group for many years to come.
My previous experiences of campaigning within the Conservative party have been; as a young Conservative campaign manager for the Staffordshire and Derbyshire regions, Chair of Keele University Young Conservatives, currently the Conservative policy Forum student champion for the West mids, East mids and East of England as well as leafleting for my local association Halesowen and Rowley Regis.
However, I do feel there are difficulties that I face as a political campaigner due to my non-visible disabilities of dyslexia and Asperger’s, notably being ostracised from certain events as well as being judged for not understanding certain things that others would be able to understand easily.
Yet the reason I want to present this report was to show the difficulty, that at least in my case, I face having a non-visible disability when campaigning. For example during the 2019 General Election when I was campaigning on my local university campus during the election hustings, I accidentally left my shirt inside out which is a common symptom of dyslexia that you find it difficult to dress yourself, yet due to a lack of understanding of disability especially non-visible ones I was simply mocked for not dressing appropriately.
Furthermore, while I have been campaigning for more disabled rights such as the controversy surrounding the sunflower lanyards, MPs, Councillors and even local associations don't see the issue disabled people face as a problem despite increasing hate crime towards those with disabilities in the past year.
Additionally due to my disabilities not being seen directly my ability to complete tasks was judged by others, questions would be made asking if I would be able to perform certain tasks in the role due to my disabilities. They would see my disabilities first and my ability as well as personality second.
This highlighted to me that while the Conservative Party is inclusive for those with disabilities, so much more so than other parties, politics has a long way to go in better understanding, not just those who have visible disabilities but also those with non-visible ones. This understanding I believe can help the Party as it could encourage more disabled people or those who are looking after disabled people to vote Conservative. We can show that as a Party we are helping not just the visible disabled community but also the non-visible disabled community, we have the potential to be able to show directly that we are the Party of compassion, dedication, and hard work.