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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 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.
VULNERABLE people living with disability are struggling to pay the rising costs of care charges at the hands of many of Scotland’s Councils.
Now one group of people in Dumfries & Galloway are determined to fight back and have set up the Right to A Real Life campaign to force their Council to back down.
Earlier this year the Council agreed to lower the income allowance that people aged under 60 would be able to keep before being charged for care services from £177 to £132, while increasing the tax rate on income allowance from 55% to 65%.
For the Council, this means an extra £423,000 a year in income. For those who need care services, it means poverty, deprivation and a reduction in their quality of life as costs soar by as much as 600%.
Many people living with disability, and their families and carers, say they cannot afford to meet these costs and will struggle to survive if they have to go on paying them.
Andrew Doyle, Chair of the Learning Disability Alliance Scotland, is one of the people affected by the increased care tax in Dumfries and Galloway and has helped form the Right to A Real Life campaign to force the Council to back down.
Andrew calls the increase an “unfair attack” on those with support needs with people paying between £25 and £35 a week more for their care package. The rising costs are seeing some having to pay up to £70 a week out of their small incomes.
LDAS has now published its report on Self Directed Support two years on. Read the full report here. This article was in our November newsletter.
Self Directed Support was the Scottish Government’s plan to transform social care in Scotland. It had two main aims.
First it gave people more choice over who from and how they got their support from.
Second it was to make the lives of people with social care needs better by improving the “outcome” of the support they got.
Two years on from the implementation of the Self Directed Support Scotland Act we surveyed people with learning disabilities all over Scotland to find out what had happened.
Half of the people who responded to us had got a Self Directed Support Package and half hadn’t. That allowed us to compare what difference SDS made.
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.