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08 Jul 2015
South Lanarkshire

A More Socially Just Country”   

 

 The Learning Disability Alliance Scotland is a user led group that works with people with learning disabilities from all over the country.  In the run up to the referendum, we held 52 workshops involving over 700 people with learning disabilities looking at the issues that were being raised and helping people understand what the decision might mean for them.

 Since the referendum we have held 5 focus groups with 64 people with learning disabilities and their carers to talk about what the referendum meant for them and what more powers. if any, they would like for Scotland. 

Key Messages

There were 2 consistent messages that came across from all the groups.

1.       The new powers that are being suggested are a chance to put the means for delivering social justice into the hands of the people of Scotland. 

2.       This is an opportunity to reach a good settlement that can bring together everyone in Scotland whether they voted Yes or No.

We are pleased to announce the publication of our latest newsletter dated October 2014.    You can listen to it online here

You can read the articles online by clicking on the following links

Article One - This looks at the wider implications of the closure of an Edinburgh service for young adults with special needs.  Issues such as Policy Rush, Cherry Picking and Give Back are looked at. Read it here.

Article Two - This is part of our long running campaign for the ending of care charges.  We reveal that 23 councils in Scotland charge people in poverty, making their living situations intolerable. Read it here.

The Learning Disability Alliance Scotland is pleased to announce its major new conference on the crisis that many people with learning disabilities are experiencing in care, support and managing the cost of living.   We would be grateful if you could share this information with members and service users that you know so they can make the choice to come to the conference.

The day is a chance for people with learning disabilities and their families to look at the challenges in their lives that is making life hard.   From changes to eligibility criteria to get social care to the rise in charges for getting support and help, we will look at the different things that make life difficult.   We will look for what we can do to find some answers to these challenges

 The conference will be mostly for people with learning disabilities from all over Scotland.  There will be some carers and parents of people with more profound disabilities there too.     We will also be inviting a small number of politicians, officials and professional staff so they can hear more about what people are saying and can help us in finding some solutions. 

 We are collecting the views of people with learning disabilities to tell the Commission tasked with agreeing more powers for the Scottish Parliament what they think should happen.   The Smith Commission , led by Lord Smith of Kelvin, is asking lots of people what they think to help with writing a  Bill.  This would start the process of handing more powers to the Scottish Parliament.

 

 Lord Smith of Kelvin said:  “Following the referendum we have a willingness, shared by all five of Scotland’s main political parties, to strengthen the powers of the Scottish Parliament, within the UK.  My job is to create a process through which politicians, civic institutions and the Scottish public can come together, work together and agree the detail of what those powers should be.”

 

 Lord Smith has asked the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) to gather views and proposals on the future powers of the Scottish Parliament by the end of October.  The Learning Disability Alliance Scotland will be responding with some ideas.  We have already held three consultation events for people with learning disabilities to have their say on new powers.  The opportunity to contribute is time limited so we are looking for as many people get involved as possible.  Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.with your comments

 

As we approach Referendum Day, we are publishing the results of a continuous opinion poll we have been conducting over the last year.  Results Chart

 

At LDAS we were determined that people with learning disabilities should have every chance to be involved in the political debate in Scotland in the run up to the referendum.   We weren’t going to be satisfied calling for more information to be published and leave it to people to work through themselves.  The referendum have seen a range of communities traditionally hard to engage with actually coming forward and taking part in the debate with their own questions and views.  Why should people with learning disabilities be any different.

 

We ran 52 workshops  with more than 700 people looking at issues surrounding independence and how to vote.  We travelled from Ellon in the north to Newton Stewart in the south of Scotland speaking to groups. We started from the basis that  there should be no “understanding” test.  We also wanted to make sure people with learning disabilities could explore a range of ways of deciding and more complicated issues. 

 

 

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