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The Learning Disability Alliance has now published its 2013 Annual Review. You can download a copy here. This will give you full information on the activities and work of the organisation over the last year.
On Friday 11th October, Frankie Miller, Spike from the Quireboys and the Scotland Rugby Squad launched their new charity single, A Bottle Of Whisky for the 2013 Rugby International season. Two of our members, Enable Glasgow and Equal Say will benefit from the returns. Its a fantastic single and we recommend you treat yourself to a copy today. It is available in the Itunes music store now.
The launch was good fun and it was a chance to catch up with Annette and Frankie. Annette has been a friend of the Learning Disability Alliance for a while as she helps to organise an alternative day service for people with learning disabilities in London. As she told us, they are having similar problems in getting funding and dodging the cuts.
We are all hoping the single as well as raising much needed funds, can help to raise the profile of people with learning disabilities throughout Scotland.
We are carrying out a survey on how well the Learning Disability Alliance Scotland has done over the last year. It is a short set of 7 questions linked to our Mission Statement. Please take a few minutes to complete the questions by the 18th of October. We value your feedback and it will help us work better over the next year.
You can complete an online version on Survey Monkey by clicking here.
Tuesday 24 September 2013
MEETING OF THE PARLIAMENT
New Learning Disabilities Strategy
The Presiding Officer (Tricia Marwick): The next item of business is a debate on motion S4M-07787, in the name of Michael Matheson, on the new learning disabilities strategy, “The keys to life”.
I point out to members that we have a fair bit of time in hand, so the Presiding Officers will be generous.
The Minister for Public Health (Michael Matheson): The new learning disabilities strategy, “The keys to life: Improving quality of life for people with learning disabilities”, was published in June of this year. It is the second national learning disabilities strategy for Scotland, and we are the first part of the United Kingdom to produce a second strategy of that nature.
The Scottish Government’s new strategy the Keys To Life was debate in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday 24th September. This was a long debate from 2.30 to 5.00. This meant that lots of MSPs got to speak and each got time to develop their points.
Summary: The Scottish Government was proud of its new strategy and felt that it would be an opportunity to improve things for people with learning disabilities. They knew there is still a lot of work to be done but it is a plan to build on the progress that has been achieved so far.
No one who spoke was opposed to the new strategy. Some concerns were raised – would local authorities be able to deliver, what about the charges that people had to pay, what about the cuts in college places, concern about the disproportionate effect that the cuts had on people with learning disabilities, the failure to deliver personal plans to everyone and even the lack of use of modern apprenticeships to support people into work.
Many of the MSPs spoke from a personal experience of people with learning disabilities and their families, others had worked with people with learning disabilities in a professional capacity before becoming an MSP and others knew people in their communities. This shows a real connection between our politicians and people with learning disabilities. There may be some differences in how to take things forward but we can say there is no “indifference” amongst this group of MSPs.
Many of the issues that the Learning Disability Alliance Scotland have been concerned about were raised and a number of MSPs were able to use our briefing in the debate.
You can read on to have the summary of what some of the main speakers said. Or you can click here to read the full report on our website. You can listen to that live or download it in audio to play in your car or on your MP3 player by clicking here.