All you need to know on the Independence Referendum

Do It Yourself Workshop on the Independence Referendum

Scotland is facing a big decision in the near future.  In September there will be a chance to vote on whether should or should not be an Independent country.

Everybody should have a chance to play a part in this.  And we have been going around the country running workshops that people with learning disabilities can explore the different ways that they can come to a decision on the future of Scotland.

We have run 25 workshops from Aberdeen to Duns and from Lochmaben to Cupar, covering much of the country and have spoken to over 350 people with learning disabilities.  We will be carrying out more over the next few months and if you are in one of our member organisations who has not yet had one please get in touch.  But otherwise we simply cannot keep up with the demand.

So we are making materials available so that people can run their own workshop over the next few months so that lots more people can look at this issue.  This is a balanced exercise that does not favour either side and we would ask that anyone using this material respects this.

Even if you don’t run a workshop you can use the information below to find out more.

Below you can download lots of help material that you can print off and use.  You can use each of them as part of the workshop or just use single pieces on their own.


Instructions for carrying out a workshop

Powerpoint presentation on voting in the referendum – This is a set of slides that you can use to structure your workshop.  You do not need to use every slide.

Video One – Big Eck needs your help song – This is a fun video about the referendum that usually gets a laugh and sets everybody up for a good discussion.

Video Two – Question Time at the Scottish Parliament – This is a video interview between two leading politicians Jackie Baillie and Joan MacAlpine about what difference the referendum will make for people with learning disabilities.

Video Three – Our Voices – This is a video of what people with learning disabilities from around Scotland think about the referendum.

Pamphlet One – Question Time on Independence – This is a cartoon style pamphlet that has essential information about the referendum as well as the leading arguments from both sides about independence.

Pamphlet Two – More Information on the issues people care about.  This is an Easy Read pamphlet that has the answers to the ten most popular questions asked by people with learning disabilities at the end of each of our workshops.

Ballot Form – This is a sample of the ballot form that will be used on September 18th

Voting Cards – We recommend that you print three coloured cards to each participant in the workshop and ask them to use them to vote on the different questions.  If you are printing the cards, print numbers on each so that they are easy to link to answers.  If card is being cut, then write the numbers on each.  The cards will be easier to use if they are joined at one corner by string or something similar.


This workshop works best for groups between 10 and 12 people but can be used for groups between 4 & 100.  Presenters need to keep their own views on the outcome of the referendum to themselves before and during the presentation.

Equipment needed

  • Projector or Television wired for sound
  • Voting cards for each person
  • Copies of the pamphlets for each person
  • Access to the internet or downloaded copies of the videos

Workshop Aim

To help people with learning disabilities to explore the issues around independence and Scottish identity.

To give people practice in making decisions over issues involved in the debate about independence.

Background material is contained in the notes on each slide

Presenters should have read the pamphlets and watched the videos in advance along with the background material prior to the workshop.  The presenter does not have to be an expert on all the issues in the presentation but confident enough in presenting an outline of the issues.

The workshop should last about an hour to an hour and a half.    If the workshop is going on, then the presenter should miss out some of the questions in the middle.  The aim is to explore the issue, not to bore or tire people in submission.  It is important that every group gets to the concluding question on what they think about independence.

Where a slide requires people to vote, call for people to show the same colour of card that reflects that answer.   The presenter should count or make a judgement about which answer is most popular each time.   It is important that people realise that voting leads to one answer, one side, one person being chosen.

Presenters should keep an accurate count of responses to the final question and email us  with the results.

For those that need hard copies of any of the materials, they should get in touch with the Learning Disability Alliance Scotland and we will provide copies for as long as supplies last.

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