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24 Oct 2017
Dundee Stronger Together

Scotland’s first national Learning Disability Awards – run by the Scottish Commission for Learning Disability (SCLD) – took place on in Learning Disability week.   Prizes were handed out in seven categories at the ceremony at the Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow.   It was a glittering night that celebrated the rarely heard stories and achievements of those with learning disabilities and the people who support them.

The Sport Achievement award went to double world record-breaker Fiona Dawson for her success with the South Ayrshire Swim Team Para Squad.During her swimming career, Fiona has won multiple gold and silver medals in the Special Olympics and the European Down’s Syndrome Championships.  Fiona, 36, is also playing a big part in inspiring the stars of the future by training to become a swimming coach.   She said: “I started swimming at a young age and I grew up to  love the water. I have a goal to help others and I’m getting the opportunity to do that now.”

Kirsty Allan, from Airdrie, Lanarkshire, was the winner in the Youth Achievement category. She was nominated after establishing a youth group where members support others in the community.   One of their projects supported Syrian refugees and included a welcome event, with donations, live music and guest speakers from local support organisations.   Kirsty, 26, commits a lot of her time to helping others. She also volunteers for a Parkinson’s disease charity and runs a social media site that keeps people with disabilities up to date with local events.   She said: “I felt excited when my name was called out as the winner of the award. I really enjoy helping other people.”

The Scottish Government has published a 5-year plan to make Scotland a fairer place for people living with disabilities and learning disabilities to live.

The plan follows the rules of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

It was put together after the Scottish Government talked to people living with disability and the groups who support and work with them.

LDAS, along with many members and supporters, took part in the Fairer Scotland ‘consultation.’

This means they gave their views on how they want things to change in Scotland to make it better for people with disabilities.

Now the Scottish Government has taken those views and all the information they got and put together a big plan of actions of things that must be done to make things fairer.


The plan has 5 main goals the Scottish Government wants to reach.


The 5 goals are:


1.     Support services that meet disabled people's needs and independent living. This means it wants to put the needs and choices of people with disability first.


2.     Decent incomes and fairer working lives. This means people living with disability can take part in learning and working and volunteering and be supported, paid and treated equally.


3.     Places that are accessible to everyone. This includes housing and transport. It also means support for people who live in the rural parts of Scotland, which can be harder to travel in.


4.     Protected rights. This means getting protections and fairer treatment from the justice system and from the authorities across Scotland.


5.     Active participation. This means taking part in daily and public life in Scotland.

To go along with the plan, the Scottish Government has also made a timetable with actions on it so everyone can see if the plan is working.


The actions will be things like talking with groups, having a survey and having conferences called ‘Summits.’


The last thing will be a report in 2021, which is the last year of the 5-year plan, and will say how the plan has worked out and if things have got fairer for people living with disability in Scotland.



Click here for a copy of the Scottish Government’s Fairer Scotland easy read plan. 

We're pleased to announce the publication of our latest Learning Disability Alliance Scotland Newsletter for November 2016.   It features a number of articles which we think will be of some interest to you.  We have attached a pdf for you to read.  If you wish to listen to it, you can download an audio file here.  Don't forget all the articles on our website can be read aloud by selecting the text and clicking it. 


First we report on the results of our Self Directed Support Study.    First we found that this Scottish Government policy had made real headway in helping people have some more control over the planning of their support packages compared to those who got their support in more traditional ways.   But then we also found out that this didn’t lead on to significantly better outcomes.  Both people with SDS and traditional support got roughly the same level of outcomes.   This raises questions about whether SDS has been worth the time and money spent on it so far.  You can read the article here.  You can read the full report called Still Waiting by clicking here

The second article reports on a lively campaign in Dumfries and Galloway to challenge the local council’s decision to increase the amount everyone under 60 has to pay in care charges at the same time that the Scottish Government gave them money to reduce the amount people had to pay.   Read it here.

It would be really good to hear what you think about and if there is anything you think we should cover in our future newsletters.    We hope these newsletter can keep people informed about both the challenges faced by people with learning disabilities and the solutions that can make a difference.  So please let us know what is going on in your area. 




The Aberdeen Stronger Together groups have followed the developments with the Keys To Life and importance placed by the Scottish Government on resolving problems to do with welfare benefits.      

They have produced a short pamphlet for people with learning disabilities to talk about some of the issues connected to Welfare Reform.   They see this being used as an introduction to the matter for people with learning disabilities.  It can be read by individuals or as part of a group.   There is a lot more information available from other agencies which can help explore particular issues and we list some of these on the back of the pamphlet.


The Forth Valley Stronger Together has been trying to make things better on the buses for ages.  They know people with disabilities have lots of
 problems using the buses.  

They have worked with First Bus to make a pamphlet on what would help people with disabilities have a good experience on the bus.  

First Bus have lots of copies to help their bus drivers know more about disabled people.  If you would like a copy too, please click on the picture



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