Publication - Progress report

Fairer Scotland for disabled people: progress report

Published: 22 Mar 2021

This report for A Fairer Scotland for Disabled People sets out the progress made on the 93 actions in the original report.

Fairer Scotland for disabled people: progress report
What else has happened since the publication of A Fairer Scotland for Disabled People in 2016?

What else has happened since the publication of A Fairer Scotland for Disabled People in 2016?

The Action Plan was a starting point to promote action towards achieving disability equality in Scotland. Since the Action Plan was written, other supportive strategies, plans and actions have been created and delivered. These have both built on the momentum of the Action Plan and taken the original aims and ambitions further in a number of cases. They have developed targeted responses to specific issues, highlighted as important by disabled people.

In 2017 we published the British Sign Language (BSL) National Plan. The BSL National Advisory Group was a collaboration of Deaf and Deafblind BSL users, which worked alongside Scottish public bodies for 18 months to help shape Scotland's first BSL National Plan, reflecting a truly co-productive approach. The plan's long term aim is ambitious; it is to make Scotland the best place in the world for people whose first or preferred language is BSL to live, work and visit. The BSL National Plan sets out ten long-term goals for BSL in Scotland, covering early years and education; training and work; health, mental health and wellbeing; transport; culture and the arts; justice and democracy. An update report on progress in delivering the actions in the BSL National Plan will be published in autumn 2021.

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the recognition that planning for the future must involve people and communities, in the summer of 2020 the Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government and the Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People announced the creation of a Social Renewal Advisory Board (SRAB). Stakeholders from the third sector, think-tanks, equality organisations, and local government came together, recognised that the impacts of the pandemic have not been felt equally and made recommendations that could renew Scotland post pandemic. 

As part of the SRAB, an Age and Disability Policy Circle was formed to discuss the impact the pandemic has had on disabled people, older people, and carers and to make recommendations to overcome current inequality. The work was also informed by lived experience. Community Listening Events were held in 31 local authorities across Scotland, where we asked individuals what the impact of the pandemic had been for them, how it had changed their lives and how they wanted to live post-pandemic– "what does a good life look like to you?" In addition four focus groups were specifically held with equality groups – women, disabled people, older people and young people.

The final independent report, If not now, when? was published in January 2021. It sets out 20 calls to action that the Board recommends be taken to result in a renewed Scotland that proactively addresses inequality and supports people to fully realise their human rights.