Foreword by Councillor Currie, COSLA
Like the Minister I too would like to thank all staff working in the NHS, local authorities, other public services, the third and independent sector and all the people of Scotland for their commitment and forbearance in the face of the pandemic. These have been, and at the time of writing continue to be, very challenging times for everyone with restrictions in place limiting everyday pursuits, activities and the ability to engage with our usual support networks, friends and families. The rollout of vaccinations offers us a way out of this.
COSLA and the Scottish Government have engaged with local authority staff group representatives, third sector organisations and with disabled people's organisations and individuals in developing this joint Learning/Intellectual Disability and Autism Towards Transformation Plan".
We have heard the concerns raised by some that having a joint learning/intellectual disability and autism plan will result in the diluting of different approaches where they exist in the existing Keys to Life Strategy and Scottish Strategy for Autism. I want to reassure anyone with such concerns that is not the aim, the intention and that it will not be the outcome of having a joint plan.
The plan is the start of considering the impact of the Scottish Strategy for Autism 2011 – 2021 and the Keys to Life 2013 – 2023 and what comes next. It highlights the impact of Covid-19 on both groups, how services to support people have adapted in light of restrictions to movement and opportunity and highlights actions which local government and Scottish Government will take individually and jointly with partners to mitigate these restrictions. The intention is that the plan articulates actions to improve things for people with lived experience and fully involves them in the leadership and scrutiny of the plan.
Councillor Stuart Currie
COSLA Spokesperson Health and Social Care
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