The Government has set up a £2.6m fund to help disabled people become councillors, police and crime commissioners or MPs.
The Access to Elected Office fund, which is open for applications until the end of March 2014, will help candidates meet the additional costs they may face.
These may include additional costs for transport, communication, technology or support.
People with disabilities are under-represented among elected officials. Disability charity Scope, which has been campaigning for the fund to be set up since 2008, said a representative portion of the population should place the number of disabled MPs at around 65.
At present only one MP is a fulltime wheelchair user and there is no data about how many Members are disabled.
Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone said the fund is "an important step towards levelling the playing field".
"This is about breaking down the physical, financial and cultural barriers that prevent many talented people from playing their part in political life," she said.
"Encouraging disabled people to make their voices heard will not only help individuals fulfil their potential but will enrich and improve our politics at local and national level."
Former Cabinet Minister and Sheffield Brightside MP David Blunkett, who is blind, said disabled people need "sensitive and practical support" to overcome barriers to elected office.
"There is no question that I could not have done my job on equal terms as a Member of Parliament of the last quarter of a century without that support," he said.
"In my early years in seeking election to, and serving on, a major city council, the struggle was enormous as I was breaking new ground. I don't want anyone now in the twenty first century to have to do that all over again because of lack of thought or finance."
Scope's chair Alice Maynard said:
"Disabled people face huge extra costs in everyday life as a result of their impairment and these extra costs can be amplified for those who want to run for elected office, meaning they are woefully under-represented.
"We are therefore delighted that the Government has launched the Access to Elected Office fund which we believe marks an important step forward in increasing disabled people's visibility and participation in society.
"Yet for Scope, the launch of this fund marks the beginning of this journey to tackle the barriers disabled people face and give them more confidence to stand for office, rather than the end.
"The key challenge facing all those working with candidates across local authorities and political parties is how we can use this fund to attract more disabled candidates and diversify the often 'closed' world of local and national politics."
Scope said as well as extra costs, disabled candidates face "negative attitudes and assumptions" in their election campaigns as MPs and councillors as a result of their condition or impairment.
A recent survey by ComRes for Scope found that 79% of disabled people feel having more disabled politicians would have a positive effect on the attitudes they experience.
It also found that 46% of disabled people in the UK say that people's attitudes towards them have got worse over the last year.