Child Disability Payment Amendment Regulations: draft island communities impact assessment

The Islands Communities Impact Assessment (ICIA) considers the Disability Assistance For Children And Young People (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2021 in relation to their impacts on people living in the Islands under Section 8 of the Islands (Scotland) Act 2018.

Connectivity and accessibility

52. Citizens Advice Scotland have identified issues of grid, utilities, digital and travel as key barriers for people in accessible rural, remote rural and remote small towns[28].

53. According to the research briefings[29] from 2017 about the Islands (Scotland) Bill, residents of islands rely on ferry crossings and air travel to reach the mainland and larger islands, and key services such as secondary and higher education, care, and medical services.

54. In 2011, the proportion of island households with at least one car or van available was 79%, compared with just over two-thirds (69%) nationally.

55. In rural remote areas and island communities, young disabled people face a lack of access to opportunities that are more readily and frequently available to those on the mainland or in urban areas. Furthermore, a lack of accessibility to employment, education and leisure opportunities can be made more difficult for someone with mobility issues, especially when transport options are limited.

56. Bus services in remote and island communities can be unreliable and are often community run. Even where buses are available, they often run rarely and timetables do not meet the needs of young people living in the community. Furthermore, if there is already someone with a wheelchair or pram on the bus it is not always possible for a wheelchair user to board.

57. Not all islands are served by buses and there are not always taxis available. We heard how disabled young people on islands rely heavily on neighbours, friends and families driving them as a primary means of transport.

58. The needs of wheelchair users can be different in island and rural communities than the needs of wheelchair users in an urban environment due to more challenging terrain.

59. We are addressing these issues by providing an option for Social Security Scotland local delivery officers to share locations with other services so that they are based where clients currently go to ensure that clients can access advice and support in existing island locations. Social Security Scotland will also offer a multi-channel approach, including telephone, paper-based and face-to-face applications to ensure that people are not isolated through a lack of access to technology. No children or young people will be expected to attend a face-to-face assessment.

60. We will also support individuals to gather supporting information. This includes, if authorised by the client, gathering information on the individual’s behalf. For individuals living in rural or island communities, this will be beneficial as it may be difficult for them to contact relevant sources given the remoteness and lack of connectivity.



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