Much of the change which The same as you? promised has been set in motion, although progress across the different areas has been variable. People with learning disabilities, family carers, local authorities, health boards, service providers, the voluntary sector and the Scottish Government have all played a significant role in taking The same as you? forward.
Since The same as you? a body of law, policy and strategy has reinforced the recommendations through recognition of capacity, improved personalisation, greater choice and control, a commitment to independent living and increased protection from harm. At the same time, greater awareness of the human rights of disabled people has been developed, with a body of case law at both national and international level and the signature and ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by the United Kingdom.
The principles and direction of travel established by The same as you? remain fit for purpose. Progress needs to be maintained in reducing barriers and discrimination, so that the aspirations of people with learning disabilities to live meaningful, fulfilled, independent, included and healthy lives can be met. In light of the pressure on public service budgets, it is essential that the best use is made of resources to achieve good outcomes for people, including those most at risk of poor health, isolation and abuse. Enabling people with learning disabilities to participate, contribute and stay connected to others, whatever their level of need, is a challenge that requires the joint commitment of a wide range of individuals and bodies. An investment in joint action to achieve these goals will be cost-effective for the public purse and lay strong foundations for future generations.
Email: Sarah Grant
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