The Scottish Parliament has introduced a variety of legislation to protect the rights and welfare of disabled people in Scotland. This legislation includes:
Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 - Modernises legislation on assessing and recording special educational needs.
Education (Disability Strategies and Pupils Educational Records) (Scotland) Act 2002 - Provides for local authorities and schools to plan and implement improvements for disabled pupils to access schools and education. These improvements cold include adapted furniture for wheelchair users, more handrails, ramps for pupils with mobility impairments, textbooks in Braille or large print and computer equipment with specialist keyboards or magnified screens. The Act also reinstates the rights of parents in Scotland to access their children's school records.
Community Care and Health (Scotland) Act 2002 - Puts a duty on local authorities, when assessing the needs of a disabled child, to take account of the views of the child, child's parent, guardian or carer. It also puts a duty on local authorities to offer direct payments to eligible people. This will increase the availability of direct payments. (Direct Payments are cash payments to disabled people to enable themt o arrange and buy their own community care and children's services.)
Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act 2002 - Puts a duty on the Scottish Commission for the Regulation of Care and on the Scottish Social Services Council to encourage equal opportunities and to comply with equal opportunities law in carrying out their functions. Also puts a duty on the Scottish Ministers, the Commission and the local authority to comply with various principles including promoting the independence of people receiving care and offering them a choice of care services.
Transport (Scotland) Act 2001 - Provides that local transport authorities should provide information about bus services including information about facilities for disabled people. Also gives the Ministers the power to establish committees to consider and advise them about the transport needs of disabled people. This legislation has allowed for the establishment of the Mobility and Access Committee for Scotland (MACS).
Standards in Scotland's Schools Etc Act 2000 - Established national priorities for education in Scotland a key feature of which is to promote equality and help every pupil benefit from education, with particular regard paid to pupils with disabilities and special educational needs. Scottish Ministers are committed to developing inclusive policies which allow all children to reach their full potential.
To end the discrimination that many disabled people face the UK Government introduced the Disability Dicrimination Act 1995 and 2005 to protect disabled people. Further information on this legislation can be found on the UK Government's website Direct Gov