Learning Disabilities, Autism and Neurodivergence Bill: consultation

We are committed to protecting, respecting and championing the rights of people with learning disabilities and neurodivergent people. This consultation on proposals for a Learning Disabilities, Autism and Neurodivergence Bill seeks the views of everyone on how we can do this.

Lived Experience Advisory Panel (LEAP) Foreword

This public consultation marks what we hope will be a significant milestone on the journey towards the fair and inclusive society Scotland aspires to be. Never before has such an ambitious and far-reaching piece of proposed legislation been focused on recognising and promoting the rights of our community of people with learning disabilities and neurodivergent people. If we get this right, Scotland has the opportunity to become a leading light, not just in the United Kingdom, but across the world.

From the outset, the Scottish Government has sought to place the voice of those with lived experience at the heart of this process. For many of us on the LEAP, it has been the first time we have been able to have our voices heard and to share the daily struggles and experiences that underline why this proposed Bill is such a crucial piece of legislation.

It has been a real honour to work with such a diverse and passionate group of people on the LEAP – each with their own unique story, background and perspective on the issues we have discussed. This consultation paper has been shaped by our many months of discussions. We are grateful to the Scottish Government for involving us so committedly.

Despite the diversity of views among LEAP members, we are all agreed on the following underlying principles that underpin this opportunity:

1. The status quo is not an option. It is not acceptable for our community to continue to face the discrimination and struggles that are sadly too commonly experienced by us all.

2. There must be accountability. We need a new mechanism to hold people and organisations to account and to uphold our rights. The form this takes will be informed by the responses to this public consultation.

3. People with lived experience must be included. For too long, decisions that impact us have been made without us. Once this proposed Bill passes into law, those with lived experience must have a significant role in its implementation and evaluation.

4. What benefits us, benefits all. Whilst this proposed Bill focuses on the learning disabled and neurodivergent communities, all of Scotland can benefit in promoting and supporting our rights. As has been shown by the unique insights and innovative ideas offered up by the LEAP to date, by enabling and empowering us to fully participate in society, Scotland can unlock a vast amount of talent and potential which will benefit everyone – not just us!

This public consultation is not just a formality but an essential step in having our human rights respected and protected. Your feedback, your stories, your expertise, and your lived experiences will shape the content of this proposed Bill and inform future policy – please share your thoughts openly, honestly, and constructively and encourage others to participate too.

Alongside the Scottish Government, the members of the LEAP urge you to seize this unique opportunity to help define the Scotland we all aspire to build here and now, and for generations to come.

Thank you.

Hannah Roussel

Co-Chair of the LEAP

Jim Gault

Co-Chair of the LEAP


Email: LDAN.Bill@gov.scot

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