Learning/intellectual disability and autism: transformation plan

The autism and learning/intellectual disability transformation plan 'Towards Transformation' sets out to ensure that progress is made in transforming Scotland for autistic people and people with learning/intellectual disabilities.

List of actions

Human Rights

Action 1 - The Scottish Government is clear that the needs of autistic people and people with learning/intellectual disabilities and their carers are to be actively considered as part of the ongoing independent review of the Mental Health Act. This legislative reform[12] work will help inform the shape of our future legislation.

Action 2 - The Scottish Government will explore further the proposals for a commission or commissioner to help protect people's rights.

Both learning/intellectual disability and autism

Action 3 - The delivery of the Mental Health Transition and Recovery Plan will support improvement in population–level mental health services. We will explore how these services can better meet the needs of autistic people and people with a learning/intellectual disability.

Action 6 - We will pilot a Nurse/AHP Consultant for Autism and learning/intellectual disabilities (learning from best practice from Alzheimer's Scotland Nurse Consultants) aimed at improving both mental health and hospital care of autistic people and people with learning/intellectual disabilities.

Action 10 - We and our partners have established a Gender Based Violence Steering Group and will develop an action plan to reduce incidence of violence and empower women with learning/intellectual disabilities and autistic women to have safe and loving relationships.

Action 12 - We will explore establishing:

A - mandatory autism training for all NHS staff.
B - mandatory learning/intellectual disability training for all NHS staff.

Action 15 - The Scottish Government will ensure that people with lived experience are listened to and better supported to initiate and influence programmes and initiatives which will impact on their lives. We want to ensure that those voices are part of discussions from the outset. This will include helping to support engagement with the issues set out in the review of adult social care, the Social Renewal Advisory Board and National Taskforce on Human Rights. This provides opportunities to ensure that social care reform and the transformation of social care services are focussed on reducing inequalities and better meet the needs of our population.

Action 16 - The Scottish Government continues to work with Inspiring Scotland 'Support in the Right Direction' and other partners to ensure that more autistic people and people with learning/intellectual disabilities access their rights under the Social Work (Self Directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013 to direct their own support.

Action 17 - In May 2020, the Scottish Government, Social Work Scotland and COSLA produced COVID-19: Guidance on Self-Directed Support Option 1 and Option 2. The guidance is for Local Authority and Health and Social Care Partnership staff who assess, approve and administer social work and social care and support (including carer support), and approve Self-directed Support (SDS) budgets and is relevant only for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic period.It aims to support local social care systems and services to continue to respond appropriately and flexibly, to enable service users to meet their outcomes during the pandemic.We will work with partners and individuals to understand the impact of this change. The Scottish Government is also working with Healthcare Improvement Scotland (iHub) and H&SCPs on a learning/intellectual disability collaborative to maximise partnership working on community led solutions to new models of day support for people with learning/intellectual disabilities.

Action 18 - The Scottish Government has launched a national carers marketing campaign to help more people recognise when they are in a caring role and to access the support available under the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016. We will help make sure that people know about this support.

Action 19 - The Scottish Government will explore asset based community development models to create better outcomes for autistic people and/or people who have learning/intellectual disabilities and their family carers.

Action 20 - The Scottish Government will continue to work towards our ambition to at least halve the disability employment gap as stated in A Fairer Scotland for Disabled People andA Fairer Scotland for Disabled People: Employment Action Plan.

Action 21 - The Scottish Government will ensure that the voices of autistic people and people with learning/intellectual disabilities are heard and a meaningful and important part of the decision making in the review of supported employment provision across Scotland. Supported Employment plays an important part in helping people into work who would otherwise struggle to gain employment in the open labour market. As such, it is a model that can make an important contribution to the ambition to at least halve the disability employment gap in Scotland, and will be more important than ever as part of our COVID-19 recovery efforts. The review is taking place in the first quarter of 2021 with the final report due in the summer of 2021.

Action 22 - The Scottish Government and COSLA will work with partners to support the implementation of the action plan on the recommendations oftheAdditional Support for Learning Review,, improving educational experiences and outcomes for all children and young people who need support with their learning.

Action 24 - We will build better learning/intellectual disability understanding by promoting the Talking about Learning Disability resources[13] through the General Teaching Council and Association of Directors of Education in Scotland.

Action 25 - The Scottish Government will work to develop meaningful Additional Support for Learning outcome measures which capture indicators of the achievements and progress of autistic children and/or children who have learning/intellectual disabilities beyond solely academic and destination data.

Action 26- The Scottish Government will produce new standalone guidance on the use of physical intervention and seclusion in Scotland's schools. This will provide a clear human rights based policy on physical intervention and seclusion and will be presented as part of the Included, Engaged and Involved suite of guidance. We will also introduce a standard data set and oversee subsequent implementation, including a review one year from publication of the revised guidance to ensure its effectiveness.

Action 27- As part of our joint action plan in response to the Additional Support for Learning implementation review, we will explore how to support more parents to have access to the information, skills, support and advocacy they need to be active and equal participants in their child's education.

Action 28

A - We will improve digital access for people with learning/intellectual disabilities so that they can stay connected to their friends, family, and communities.
B - We will improve digital access for autistic people so that they can stay connected to their friends, family, and communities.

Action 31 - In partnership with Inspiring Scotland and the Scottish Commission for people with Learning Disabilities (SCLD), we will encourage people with lived experience to participate in a Future Leaders Programme to empower people to be active and involved in their own community. We also want to support self-advocacy initiatives like the National Involvement Network, autistic led charities and organisations, People First and the People's Assembly.

Action 32 -The Scottish Government will take specific action to engage with autistic people and also people with a learning/intellectual disability from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Communities to hear about their experiences and identify how we can best support and work with them.

Learning/intellectual disability

Action 4 - We will promote the Mental Health resources being developed by PAMIS to better support people with Profound and multiple learning disability (PMLD) to explore their emotions and a resource developed by Glasgow University to better support people with learning/intellectual disabilities to cope with anxiety.

Action 5 - We will ensure that the recommendations of the Coming Home Report are fully considered in the implementation of the work of the SLWG set up to improve delayed discharge and reduce inappropriate out of area placements for people with complex needs. The findings of this work will be reported on and published in the near future and mechanisms will be put in place to deliver on its recommendations.

Action 7 - We will work with the Scottish Learning Disability Observatory[14] to further understand health inequalities and to identify specific predictors of mortality and actions that will improve health outcomes for people with learning/intellectual disabilities of all ages.

Action 8 - The Scottish Government, Aberdeenshire Health & Social Care Partnership and partners will take forward a pilot of health checks for people with learning/intellectual disabilities to address health inequalities and early deaths.

Action 9 - The Scottish Government and partners including NHS Boards, the Scottish Commission for people with Learning Disability and the Scottish Learning Disability Observatory will deliver improvements in data collection and access to data to improve the visibility of these populations and consider the development of a Key Performance Indicator to monitor improvements.

Action 29 - In partnership with the Scottish Commission for people with Learning Disabilities (SCLD) and People First we will build on the Covid-19 experience of providing access to accessible information. This will include using SCLD's website as an accessible information hub and linking into Disability Equality Scotland's Inclusive Communication Hub.


Action 11 - We will continue to work with the National Autism Improvement Team (NAIT) to support autism and ADHD diagnostic services through improvement practice and explore with Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) the development of a Key Performance Indicator to monitor diagnostic services across Scotland.

Action 13 - As committed to in the Programme for Government we will deliver a 6 month pilot national post diagnostic support service for autistic people from December 2020. We will work collaboratively with national autism charities, autistic led charities and organisations and evaluate the outcomes of the pilot post May 2021.

Action 14 – We will explore the barriers to autistic people living a healthier life.

Action 23 - We will action the Deputy First Minister's Working Group Implementation Plan following theNot Included, Not Engaged, Not involved Report.This will include building better autism understanding in Initial Teacher Education, working with the General Teaching Council Scotland and Universities to develop training resources and deliver training in autism to all trainee teachers.

Action 30 - We want to empower people to have their voices heard as active citizens. Our new autism campaignDifferent minds. One Scotland.is part of trying to change the way that autistic people are understood and was built on early and successful involvement from autistic people. We will continue our work on this.


Email: ceu@gov.scot

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