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27 Aug 2016
John's Jolly Walking Group

 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. 



We are really pleased to tell you that a number of groups have helped to from the Learning Disability Alliance in England. There is no direct connection with the Learning Disability Alliance Scotland but they too will be a campaigning body and we look forward to working with them on any areas where we have joint concerns.  

The Campaign for a Fair Society in England has come together with three other organisations to establish the Learning Disability Alliance: 

  • People First England, which represents people with learning disabilities
  • Bringing Us Together, which represents families
  • Housing & Support Alliance, which represents community organisations and professionals

Over the next few months they want as many people and organisations as possible to join them.  If you live or work in England you can This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  


Our July newsletter has just been published.  You can download a hard copy of it by clicking here or you can listen to a copy of it by clicking it here or you can right click to download and listen later.   

Each of the articles are available on line if you want to read them that way.  

The lead article is the fact that people from black and minority ethnic projects lose out in getting access to services.   Research shows that a much smaller proportion f the BME community access support and services than do white Scottish people.  A recent project has shown how some of this problem can be solved. 

 Our second article is on the legacy of the Commonwealth Games which started this week.  While we wish it well and many of our members have taken part in the baton relay or are currently volunteering at the Games, there are real concerns that there will be little long term benefit for disabled people.  

Health and Social Care Integration are the feature of our third article.  This is the latest buzz in social work.  But will it lead to more than just a few more well paid jobs for the boys (and girls) who will run the process.  We express some concerns.  



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