Resource Type Policy & Legislation

Disabilities

A Fairer Scotland for Disabled People

The Scottish Government has published A Fairer Scotland for Disabled People strategy, outlining the Government’s Delivery Plan to 2021 for the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It reflects a consultation on the Draft Delivery Plan and engagement with disabled people about how to reduce barriers, tackle inequalities and secure equal enjoyment of their rights as set out under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The Strategy includes five key ambitions and 93 separate actions to protect the rights of people with disabilities. The ambitions include:

  • Support services that promote independent living, meet needs and work together to enable a life of choices, opportunities and participation
  • Decent incomes and fairer working lives
  • Places that are accessible to everyone
  • Protected rights
  • Active participation

The strategy also outlines work already underway under each of the above themes.

The Keys to Life - Learning Disabilities Strategy

In June 2013, the Scottish Government published its learning disabilities strategy The Keys to Life - Improving Quality of Life for People with Learning Disabilities, building on the success of 'The Same as You?', the original 10-year programme designed to meet the needs of people with learning disabilities. Following a two-year evaluation of the original strategy, a national learning disabilities strategy group discussed key themes and agreed the broad responses which formed the new learning disabilities strategy. The strategy contains 52 recommendations in total, aimed at improving the quality of life for people with learning disabilities in Scotland.

In March 2019, the Scottish Government published a new framework for the implementation of the strategy across 2019 - 2021. The new framework sets out the key priorities for the remaining period of the strategy, grouping these under: living, learning, working and wellbeing. It builds on work undertaken since the previous framework was published in 2015 and reflects a commitment to equality through the Fairer Scotland Disability Delivery Plan.

An ongoing review of the law around learning disabilities and autism is currently underway and will report later in 2019. 

Also see: Scottish Strategy for Autism: outcomes and priorities 2018-2021

Sensory Impairment Strategy

In April 2014, the Scottish Government published See Hear: A strategic framework for meeting the needs of people with a sensory impairment in Scotland. Developed in partnership with COSLA, the framework provides practical advice and direction for meeting the needs of both children and adults with a sensory impairment. The document provides nine recommendations to help achieve the following five aims:

  • The seamless provision of assessment, care and support to children and adults with a sensory impairment.
  • Children and adults with a sensory impairment should expect the same access to education, employment, healthcare, social care and leisure as everyone else.
  • People who have or develop a sensory loss understand what this loss will mean for them.
  • People who have or develop a sensory loss are able to access information and be supported to take the maximum possible control over living as independently as possible, while also getting direct assistance when needed: appropriate communication is critical to this.
  • Children and young people with a sensory impairment should expect appropriate and timely intervention in the early years and for as long as is required.

Independent Living

Disabled people’s organisations identify independent living as the overarching priority for disability equality and the Shared Vision for Independent Living is the Scottish Government’s headline policy for disabled equality and disabled people.

The Scottish Government also set up the Independent Living in Scotland project to support disabled people to have their voices heard by policy makers, decision makers and others in wider society. It aims to grow and strengthen the independent living movement in Scotland. 

Independent Review of Learning Disability and Autism in the Mental Health Act

An independent review of learning disability and autism in the Mental Health Act has published its stage 1 report. The review is considering whether learning disability and autism should continue to be conditions that are covered by the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003.

The Stage 1 report contains experiences and views from people across Scotland who have experienced care under the
Mental Health Act, and who have worked with the Act as professionals. Stage 2 of the review is looking at possible options for reform of the Act, with the findings to be reflected in consultation documents for stage 3 to be released at the end of August. The review’s final report and recommendations will be submitted in December 2019.

Children and Young People with Complex Additional Support Needs

The Scottish Government has published an updated ten year strategy to improve the learning outcomes for children and young people with complex additional support needs living in Scotland. ‘The right help at the right time in the right place: strategy for the learning provision for children and young people with complex additional support needs 2017-2026’, sets out the aim to improve outcomes for children and young people with complex additional support needs through strategic commissioning of services; with a particular focus on the provision of education. The objectives of the strategy are to:

  • ensure the four key priorities set out within Scotland’s National Improvement Framework are central to the outcomes anticipated in the 10 Year Strategy
  • frame the Strategy in the six key drivers for improvement within the National Improvement Framework: school leadership; teacher professionalism; parental engagement; assessment of children’s progress; school improvement; performance information all reflecting a particular relevance to provision for complex additional support needs
  • ensure that the impact of any service commissioned results in capacity building across local authorities as well as at a national level
  • provide an evidence base, which will include the voice of parents, children and young people, for decisions around national commissioning that drive improvements which benefit children and young people with complex additional support needs

Useful Links

Further reading

Animal magic

A resource celebrating the amazing difference being around and caring for animals makes for many children and adults using a range of care services

National strategies and frameworks

A library of publications by the Scottish Government and other national bodies setting out relevant policy developments or direction

Health and Social Care Standards

The Health and Social Care Standards set out what we should expect when using health, social care or social work services in Scotland

Latest Adult and Health Bulletin

A weekly bulletin produced by our policy team providing an update on the key developments in adult social care and health

Adult and Health Bulletin: 5 - 11 December 2019

Adult and Health Bulletin: 5 - 11 December 2019

Adult and Health Bulletin: 5 - 11 December 2019

Latest Children and Young People Bulletin

A weekly bulletin produced by our policy team providing an update on the key developments concerning children and young people

Children and Young People Bulletin: 5 - 11 December 2019

Children and Young People Bulletin: 5 - 11 December 2019

Children and Young People Bulletin: 5 - 11 December 2019