A Fairer Scotland for Disabled People: summary

Summary version of the document A Fairer Scotland for Disabled People: Our Delivery Plan to 2021 for the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Key actions

1. Our ambition: support services that meet disabled people's needs

We are working with local authorities, providers, disabled people and other partners to deliver reform to adult social care. This will enable us to shift to care that focuses on achieving independent living for people who use social care services (action no 2).

We will continue to engage with disabled people and carers to develop a set of outcomes for social care support in Scotland (action no 3).

We will work with COSLA and disabled people to identify ways of improving the portability of care packages where a disabled person moves between local authority areas (action no 4).

We will launch an Independent Living Fund scheme for new users within the next year (action no 5).

We will commence the Carers Act on 1 April 2018 so that carers of disabled people and disabled people themselves will be better supported (action no 10).

We will publish the next Mental Health Strategy which will set out our 10-year vision for transforming mental health in Scotland and we will continue our emphasis on improving access to mental health services. This will be underpinned by an additional £150m for mental health services over five years (action no 11 and action no 12).

We will review whether the Mental Health (Care and Treatment)(Scotland) 2003 Act should cover people with learning disabilities and Autism (action no 13).

We will work with disabled people to develop changes to the Adults with Incapacity Act, in relation to deprivation of liberty, by 2018 (action no 15).

We will review policies on guardianship and consider circumstances in which supported decision making can be promoted (action no 16).

Building on the Scottish Strategy for Autism, and the Keys to Life Learning Disability Strategy we will begin work early in 2017 to identify priorities for the next phase of implementation (action no 17 and action no 19).

We will develop and implement a National Framework for Families with Disabled Children and Young People to improve the outcomes of young disabled people and ensure they are getting the best provision and support possible (action no 22).

2. Our ambition: decent incomes and fairer working lives

We will reduce barriers to employment for disabled people and seek to reduce by at least half, the employment gap between disabled people and the rest of the working age population (action no 28).

We will consult on setting targets to redress the disability employment gap in the public sector (action no 29).

We will pilot a work experience scheme specifically for young disabled people aimed at improving their transition into permanent employment (action no 30).

We will explore opportunities to promote the Project SEARCH model (enabling young people with learning disabilities and autism to secure sustainable employment) (action no 31).

We will actively promote the Department for Work and Pensions' Access to Work scheme to employers and disabled people to ensure a higher uptake and use of the scheme in Scotland (action no 32).

We will improve the employment prospects of disabled people, through newly devolved Scottish employability programmes (action no 34).

Disabled young people will be supported through the Youth Employment Strategy: Developing Young Workforce (action no 35).

'As an equal opportunity employer we welcome applications from disabled people as our workforce should be a reflection of the diverse range of customers we serve. We have always found that our disabled employees add as much value as any of our employees and by making a few practical adjustments can easily accommodate any specific needs they may have.'

Anna West
HR Manager, CMS Windows Ltd

We will remove the barriers that have previously prevented young disabled people entering Modern Apprenticeships ( MA) (action no 36).

We will provide young disabled people with the highest level of Modern Apprenticeship funding for their chosen MA Framework until the age of 30 (action no 37).

We will deliver a disability internship programme, providing disabled people with 120 employment opportunities in the third and public sectors and in politics, over the period 2017-2021 (action no 39).

In December 2016, we will publish a 10-year Social Enterprise Strategy which will provide a framework for action planning in 2017. In the first plan we will agree measures to stimulate pre-start activity, increasing the number of disabled social entrepreneurs (action no 45).

We will provide funding during the current parliamentary session to enable more disabled people to volunteer and increase the numbers of disabled people taking up volunteering opportunities (action no 47).

We will hold a major congress on Disability, Employment and the Workplace during 2017 (action no 49).

With our new powers we will establish a social security system that treats people with dignity and respect while applying for, being assessed for, and receiving disability benefits and appealing decisions (action no 50).

We will provide information on benefits in a range of accessible formats so that disabled people are not disadvantaged by communication barriers (action no 53).

We will use our new powers under the Scotland Act to effectively abolish the bedroom tax (action no 56).

We will extend winter fuel payments to families with severely disabled children by 2020 (action no 57)

We will increase Carer's Allowance so that it is paid at the same level as Jobseeker's Allowance (action no 58). We are also committed to increasing Carer's Allowance for those looking after more than one disabled child (action no 59).

'Social security is a hand up - not a hand out. It should provide the basis from which we can all participate and contribute to society but when you're treated like a scrounger and benefit cheat, it knocks your confidence and wears away your self-esteem. Disability hate crime has sky-rocketed in the last few years, as we've been stigmatised and demonised by UK politicians and much of the media. This Disability Plan, together with the new social security system is a chance to put right some of the wrongs and treat people better.'

Chris Baird
Disabled person, member and campaigner, Purple Poncho Players

3. Our ambition: places that are accessible to everyone

We will work with local authorities, disabled people, and other stakeholders to ensure that each local authority sets a realistic target within its Local Housing Strategy for the delivery of wheelchair accessible housing (action no 62).

'Accessible housing is the cornerstone of independent living. Without an accessible home, it's clearly impossible for many disabled and older people to live as equal citizens - to work, to play, to have relationships, to be active members of our communities and all that follows from that: in other words to do all the things non-disabled people take for granted.'

Etienne d'Aboville
Chief Executive, Glasgow Centre for Inclusive Living

We will develop guidance for housing and care providers on timescales for installing adaptations (action no 65).

Through our Accessible Travel Framework (action no 66), we will:

  • develop our Accessible Travel Hub;
  • scope requirements for training with disabled people and transport
  • providers/operators including covering hidden impairments and ways of communicating, including basic BSL phrases;
  • specify and agree common standards of service for disabled people if their public transport journeys are disrupted; and
  • produce information about bus layout designs which improve accessibility, identifying specific changes and how they benefit people with different impairments.

We will consult on improving parking and will take forward legislation setting out how local authorities implement and enforce parking, including disabled parking spaces (action no 67).

'Accessible Transport is vital to disabled people being able to enjoy their rights as citizens of a fair society.'

Morven Brooks
CEO, Scottish Disability Equality Forum

We will improve physical and online access to the historic environment and collections by 2019 so that more disabled people can enjoy their heritage (action no 69).

Disabled people's participation at all levels of sport and physical activity will increase through an action plan developed in partnership with disabled people by 2019 (action no 72).

Rural and island communities

We know that some of the barriers that impact on disabled people's lives are heightened in rural areas. Many of the actions in this plan will make a difference in rural as well as urban Scotland.

We have consulted specifically with the relevant local authorities across Scotland with responsibility for island communities to identify any potential negative impact from the plan, and will continue to review this as we move forward with implementation.

We will deliver a workshop with Local Action Groups through the Scottish Rural Network to develop and stimulate new ideas for improving the life chances of disabled people in rural areas (action no 75).

4. Our ambition: protected rights

Fees for employment tribunals will be abolished, when we are clear on how the transfer of powers and responsibilities will work (action no 76).

We will work with disabled people's organisations and Police Scotland to encourage greater reporting of disability hate crimes (action no 77).

We will identify negative impacts on disabled people of the current legal aid framework and develop options for change (action no 80).

Our criminal justice organisations will publish their most important pieces of information - including case information for victims and witnesses - in accessible formats (action no 81).

'We firmly believe that the consistent adoption of 'inclusive communications' in all aspects of our lives can be transformative for everyone involved. It is key to liberating and embracing the talents and contribution of disabled people in Scotland while also challenging and changing the attitudes of non-disabled people.'

Andy Kerr
CEO, Sense Scotland

We will carry out site audits of criminal justice buildings to identify any physical access barriers that need to be removed (action no 82).

We will support specialist expertise in disability discrimination law in Scotland (action no 83).

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service ( SFRS) will focus preventative activities on disabled people (action no 84).

5. Our ambition: active participation

Disabled people can participate as active citizens in all aspects of daily and public life in Scotland.

We are determined to increase representation of disabled people in our democratic institutions. We will continue the Access To Elected Office Fund (Scotland) to meet the additional costs of disabled people who wish to stand for selection or election to the Scottish Parliamentary in 2021 (action no 85).

Our current record level of investment in supporting the capacity of disabled people's organisations will be maintained during the lifetime of this parliament. Through this programme of work, we will explore how disability impacts different equality groups (action no 86).

We will develop a strategy to tackle social isolation and loneliness, which seeks to tackle the specific barriers to developing social and community connections that disabled people face (action no 88).

We will actively promote a new Inclusive Communication hub across the public sector, providing advice and practical assistance (action no 89).

We will produce the first ever National Action Plan on British Sign Language in October 2017, which will improve access to information and services for our citizens whose first or preferred language is BSL (action no 91).

'The passing of the BSL (Scotland) Act will lead to the creation of the first BSL National Plan so that the Deaf community in Scotland will be seen as active citizens in Scotland. With BSL, we are equal and valued citizens in wider society in Scotland.'

Avril Hepner
British Deaf Association Scotland

We will highlight the barriers to inclusion that disabled people face, with a particular focus on employment, in the next phase of the One Scotland Campaign (action no 92).

We will improve the diversity of Scotland's boardrooms, using outreach activity to encourage disabled people to apply for public appointments (action no 93).


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