Learning Disability, Autism and Neurodiversity Bill - Lived Experience Advisory Panel (LEAP): FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Information requested

You requested details on the activities of the Lived Experience Advisory Panel (LEAP) for a proposed Learning Disability, Autism and Neurodiversity Bill (LDAN Bill), including: if the panel been confirmed yet; what the make-up of the panel is (geographical spread, breakdown between learning disabilities, ADHD, ASD and other conditions, male to female representation of the different conditions); if the panel met yet; what the outcomes of the panel have been and when the outcomes will be published.

You also ask if women with ADHD are represented on the LEAP due to the huge rise of women being diagnosed and struggling to secure treatment and support if not what is being done to ensure their views have been considered.


Response below providing some of the information you requested.

The answer to your question is that the membership of the LEAP has been confirmed. There have been six LEAP meetings so far, with the first meeting taking place in February of this year.

LEAP outcomes

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested because an exemption under section 29(1)(a) of FOISA (formulation or development of government policy) applies to all of the information requested because it relates to the development of the Scottish Government’s policy on proposals for a LDAN Bill. You can find more information about this exemption here.

This exemption is subject to the ‘public interest test’. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption. We recognise that there is a public interest in disclosing information as part of open, transparent and accountable government, and to inform public debate. However, there is a greater public interest in high quality policy and decision-making, and in the properly considered implementation and development of policies and decisions. This means that Ministers and officials need to be able to consider all available options and to debate those rigorously, to fully understand their possible implications. Their candour in doing so will be affected by their assessment of whether the discussions on the LDAN Bill will be disclosed in the near future, when it may undermine or constrain the Government’s view on that policy while it is still under discussion and development.

I can advise that the Scottish Government aims to adopt a human rights-based approach to ensure that the Bill is fully co-designed with people with lived experience. Therefore, the LEAP leads all of our discussions on what should be considered for inclusion in a LDAN Bill. Those discussions remain ongoing.

As part of this work, the LEAP is helping us to co-design proposals for the public consultation on a LDAN Bill. The consultation will be published by the end of this year. The outcomes of the LEAP’s contributions to the consultation proposals will be articulated in the published document once those have been determined.

LEAP demographics

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested because an exemption(s) under section(s) 38(1)(b) (personal information) of FOISA that apply to that information. You can find more information about this exemption here.

Personal information as defined in the Data Protection Act 2018 refers to any information about an individual who could be identified. Personal information can be about a person’s mental, economic, cultural or social identities. This includes information about disability, race, socio-economic status, gender and gender reassignment.

The LEAP is made up of 25 individuals and disclosing this information, even as aggregated data, risks the possible identification and linking of personal information to those on the LEAP. I hope you understand why this decision has been made to protect the personal information of the LEAP members.

LEAP applicants were also asked at interview where they came from. We have enclosed a copy of the interview form to evidence this. This question was asked to give an indication of the geographical spread of applicants. LEAP members were chosen to represent a wide range of areas across Scotland.

LEAP members were also chosen to ensure equality in gender representation. You can find the related equalities monitoring form in non-easy read here and in easy read here.

Finally, I want to assure you that every member of the LEAP is neurodivergent and a variety of conditions are represented including: ADHD, autism, Down’s Syndrome, learning difficulties and learning disabilities. And, that there are a number of women with ADHD represented on the LEAP.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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