Children with special needs being unfairly excluded from school

Children with special needs being unfairly excluded from school

Campaign
Information showing how many young people have been excluded from school in Scotland were published earlier this year. For children with special needs it paints a worrying picture. The new law on Additional Support for Learning was meant to improve things. Instead it hardly seems to make a difference. Nearly a quarter of young people excluded from school had special needs while they form a tiny part of the school population. Schools can act too fast. We have known children who have been excluded permanently for breaking a single window. This helps to break patterns of education and social skill development. But perhaps worse are the hidden exclusion, when parents wanting to register are told that there are better schools for their children elsewhere. Children never given a chance to…
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We Need To Talk About Buses

We Need To Talk About Buses

Accessible Politics, Campaign, Information
BUSES are a big deal. Especially for people with little by way of alternative options at their disposal, such as the bulk of people with learning disabilities. For years now Scotland’s government, bus companies and other organisations have been working hard to make buses more accessible for vulnerable people. At present, as well as travel accessibility being a core area of the Scottish government’s Fairer Scotland for Disabled People plan, which includes the developing Disability Travel Hub, it is also an aim of the new Transport Bill. So on paper it is fair to say that progress is being made.  So why are people with learning disabilities feeling as though bus travel still does not meet their accessibility needs? Bad Experiences As most people who work with people with learning…
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Seeking a fairer Scotland

Seeking a fairer Scotland

Information
THE recent LDAS 2018 conference welcomed delegates from across the country to examine whether Scotland is becoming a fairer place for people with learning disabilities to live. The Scottish Government’s 5-year Fairer Scotland plan to change the lives of people with learning disabilities and ensure their human rights are realised formed the basis of the conference ‘A Fairer Scotland – How do we get there?’ The delivery plan for the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is now in its second year and has set out five long-term ambitions aimed at ‘transforming’ the lives of disabled people in Scotland for the better. Among the LDAS conference delegates less than half, 45%, said they knew about the Fairer Scotland plan compared with 35% who said they did not.…
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New Map of Welfare Rights Advice Offices

New Map of Welfare Rights Advice Offices

Welfare Reform
We are aware of an increasing number of problems that people with learning disabilities are experiencing in the welfare benefit system. Some of this is linked to the use of targets by the Department of Work and Pensions. Other problems are linked to the complexities of letters and forms sent to people to fill in. Some support staff are no longer filling in forms because the consequences of getting this wrong can be very difficult and worrying for the people we support. Our advice for everyone is involved is to get good advice if you are not sure what to do. You can use our new map of welfare right advice centres to track down your local advice shop. Take your letters and forms along and get the right help.
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New Training Courses on PIP

New Training Courses on PIP

Welfare Reform
The Ayrshire Stronger Together group has been working on personal Independence Payment for a while and has put together a training course to help make sure people with learning disabilities get the right help in applying for the new benefit. From October 2015 the DWP will be asking everyone with Disability Living Allowance to apply for Personal Independence Payment.   Many people with learning disabilities are worried that they may not get the help they need to apply. Some people will be able to get professional help but many others will depend on family members and support staff to complete their forms with them.   We would like to invite  families and paid staff who support people with learning disabilities to a training course to help complete the application forms…
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What’s going wrong with Personal Independence Payment?

What’s going wrong with Personal Independence Payment?

Welfare Reform
Tens of thousands of people have been waiting over ten months to get the new benefit for the first time—without any payments in the meantime. By December 2013 there had been 229,000 claims but only 43,800 decisions. A fall in success rates Under DLA 45% of claims were successful before appeal but under PIP only 37% of claims have been successful before appeal. The problems The Length Of Time Taken To Do Assessments.  The new PIP assessment is more complicated than people realised and is taking twice as long to complete as thought.   Making A Claim -  New  people have to make a telephone call to make a  claim. People are struggling to get through and, once they are on the phone,  the call can take half an hour…
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New Scottish Independent Living Fund Announced

New Scottish Independent Living Fund Announced

Welfare Reform
Nicola Sturgeon told the SNP spring conference in Aberdeen on Saturday that the Scottish Government would set up new fund to help disabled people, to take the place of the Independent Living Fund, which she said was being closed by the UK Government. The Scottish Independent Living Fund will support more than 3,000 disabled people, and a £5.5 million investment will mean it will be open to new claimants, as well as those who benefit from the existing scheme. The new fund will be managed by the third sector. The UK Government's support scheme has been closed to new applicants since 2010 and is due to close altogether in June 2015. The Scottish Government's version of the fund will come into effect in July that year, subject to the full…
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10 ways local authorities are planning to make savings in adult social care

10 ways local authorities are planning to make savings in adult social care

Welfare Reform
Community Care Magazine have suggested that there are 10 ways local authorities are planning to make savings in adult social care over the next financial year. They checked local council plans all over England and found evidence for each.  Read the original article here.   We think there might be similar things going on in Scotland.  Why don’t you email us with your examples. Reducing care and cutting personal budgets Delegating budget management to frontline staff Increasing charges for social care Cutting the hours of care people receive Reablement Replacing home visits with telecare Changes to the assessment process such as reviews over the phone Squeezing providers  by renegotiating contracts Cutting back on mental health support   Reducing ‘double-up’ homecare by use of new technology
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Further update on the Scottish position on the ILF

Further update on the Scottish position on the ILF

Welfare Reform
Two weeks ago Mike Penning announced the UK government’s decision to go ahead with the closure of the Independent Living Fund from June 2015 for users in England and Wales.  Existing funding would be transferred to local authorities and users would become dependent on local authorities assessment of their need and a subsequent allocation of resources. The situation in Scotland is quite DIFFERENT.  The funding for existing ILF user will be transferred to the Scottish Government with effect from June 2015 and they have made a COMMITMENT to honour all existing awards for as long as funds continue to be transferred to them.  This means that existing ILF users will be protected in the short term.    Future decisions will depend on financial settlements in the long term  and the current…
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Minister confirms Independent Living Fund to close from June 2015

Minister confirms Independent Living Fund to close from June 2015

Welfare Reform
The Independent Living Fund (ILF) is to close from 30 June 2015, with local authorities taking responsibility for delivering support through the mainstream adult social care system. Minister for disabled people, Mike Penning, confirmed the new arrangements for the fund, which helps disabled people to live independent lives. The 18,000 current users of the fund in England will now transfer from ILF to the social care system. Mr Penning said: ‘Our understanding of disabled people has changed over the past 20 years, and along with it there have been significant developments in how we provide social care to disabled people so they can live independent lives. ‘We continue to spend £50bn a year on disabled people and the services provided to them, and as part of the government’s long-term economic…
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