Young Disabled People's Forum
The Scottish Government Young Disabled People’s Forum – Youth Action Success – sits within the Disabled Children and Young People Advisory Group. It exists to advise the Scottish Government on issues relevant to the development and implementation of policies which impact upon disabled children, young people and their families.
It actively promotes links and shared working with other relevant advisory groups and organisations in order to develop networks to ensure that the needs of disabled children and young people and their families are taken into account when developing policy and services.
As such, a Young Disabled People’s Forum was established and a feedback loop has been set up with the Disabled Children and Young People’s Advisory Group to ensure that their voices are heard in the development and implementation of policy.
There are currently 60 members on the forum who are supported by third sector organisations to attend. Depending on the people attending a meeting, support can be given by arranging for British Sign Language (BSL) signers and note takers, support persons and on most occasions, a Pamiloo. Presentations are kept brief and accessible to ensure the young people have time to suggest possible solutions that can influence real change and to improve their lives.
The objectives of working with the forum ensure the government has genuine consultation, engagement and co-production with disabled young people. It enables policy areas to have an increased understanding of the barriers faced by disabled young people in our society.
There are also opportunities for young people to better understand and influence the Scottish Government policies which affect them. To date, the forum have worked with Transport Scotland, Education Scotland, Student Awards, Autism and Learning Disability team, GIRFEC and Disabled Young Workforce.
Train access success
An example of how influential the forum can be is through the work they did with Transport Scotland.
Young people said trains can be more complicated and more expensive, but they did use them. Some felt the gap between the train and the platform was frightening. They also didn’t think you should have to book 24 hours in advance just because you have access requirements. They felt you should be able to just turn up and get on the train like everyone else.
The time required for a disabled person to request passenger assistance when travelling by rail in advance was reduced to 2 hours on 1 April 2019 and will further be reduced to 1 hour by around 2020 to 2021. This compares with most of the other UK operators still requiring 24 hour notice.
Guidance on supporting disabled children, young people and their families
Guidance on supporting children, young people and their families is available.
We aim to review and update this information every year so that the examples are kept up-to-date.
If you have a practice example that you would like us to consider to include, please email the details to: ChildrensRightsandParticipation@gov.scot
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