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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.
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.”
A Statement by the Engine Shed
Over the last year at the Engine Shed has tried to work with Edinburgh Council to resolve our difficulties.
- Receiving a further years transition funding of £211,000 until April 2015 to allow time to develop new opportunities;
- Meeting and working with Business Gateway to develop new ways of workings;
- Working with a Community Enterprise Consultant funded by the Just Enterprise scheme operated by Business Gateway.
- Spending 4 months in an ultimately unsuccessful negotiations with the “Preferred Consortium” to secure a place in a joint tender that recognised the Engine Shed’s unique contribution to support young adults in learning employments skills.
- A willingness to explore new option for individuals including self-directed support.
- Exploring way of applying to the Challenge Fund and other Third Party Grants programme available through the Edinburgh City Council;
- Exploring ways of applying for future European Social Funds (subject to first having a grant suitable for matching) from April 2015.
- From April to June, the CEO and directors taking part in a series of three meetings with senior council staff and councillors to explore funding opportunities.