Publication - Consultation paper

United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) The Scottish Government's Draft Delivery Plan (2016-2020) - Consultation

Published: 8 Sep 2015
Part of:
Communities and third sector
ISBN:
9781785446160

This draft plan sets out our aim to removing barriers and enabling disabled people to enjoy equal access to citizenship. Over 50 commitments will help us deliver the four outcomes and three cross cutting themes that will bring about change to disabled people. We will consider the views of disabled people on this approach and finalise our plan in spring 2016

Contents
United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) The Scottish Government's Draft Delivery Plan (2016-2020) - Consultation
ANNEX E

ANNEX E

Evidence to support the outcomes

Outcome 1 - Environment, Transport and Housing

What evidence tells us

Having the freedom to choose how and when we travel, where we want to live and what we want to do with our day - from popping to the shops, Post Office or health centre is part of everyday life. So is getting involved in the community and participating in social, cultural or sporting activities. Or at least, it is for some people.

For many disabled people living in Scotland their freedom is restricted by inaccessible public spaces and transport systems, buildings that were built before current legislation and standards, unsuitable housing and lack of adequate information and support.

The Scottish Housing Conditions Survey 2012 summarises that 62,000 households in Scotland require specially adapted baths or showers and don't have them. 8000 houses need ramp access and 17,042 wheelchair users in Scotland lack appropriate accommodation. In total 230,000 adapted homes are needed. Research by Capability Scotland concluded that this lack of accessible housing was 'restricting disabled people's lives; having an impact on quality of life leading to isolation, health problems and a lack of self-esteem'.

The report also highlighted that revised building standards for Scotland were introduced in 2007. These set out improved accessibility measures for all kinds of buildings. They also enable homes to be more readily adapted for use by disabled people. However, as a result of the economic downturn there have been fewer homes built to these standards than anticipated.

The Scottish Accessible Transport Alliance (SATA) reports that the main issues affecting disabled transport users in Scotland are availability and accessibility of public transport. Lack of consistency and poor attitudes - mainly from taxi drivers and bus drivers - were also noticeable and there were differences in the services provided in urban and rural areas. This means that rural communities experience problems in accessing health, social care and leisure because of poor transport services and links and inconsistency of local authority funding. Capability Scotland found that 40% of Scotland's local authorities are ignoring the needs of disabled people by not including an accessibility requirement in taxi licensing regulations.

These examples demonstrate that disabled people are discriminated against and disadvantaged, unable to enjoy the same freedom, choices and opportunities as other citizens. These barriers can lead to feelings of isolation and, if left unaddressed, depression.

Where we are now

The Scottish Government has been working to improve access to housing, transport, services, venues, information and facilities which includes the following:

Housing

  • Help to buy (Scotland) - helps people on any income to buy a new build home up to the value of £250,000 from participating house-builders. This scheme has potentially positive impacts on lower income households and characteristics such as disability, age and gender.
  • Housing Adaptations - the Scottish Government has committed to implementing the recommendations of the independent adaptations working group. Five pilot sites will run until 2017 and after evaluation, new guidance on good practice will be issued.
  • Housing (Scotland) Act 2014 - includes some measures that will assist disabled people such as the Private Rented Sector Tribunal. This will be helpful for people who find it difficult to engage with court procedures. Ending the Right to Buy will help prevent the sale of up to 15,500 social houses over a 10 year period and protect the existing stock of social rented homes. Social landlords to help the many people in need of social housing.
  • Home2Fit - is developed by Glasgow Centre for Inclusive Living with funding from the Scottish Government. This is a national register of accessible housing which helps disabled people find suitably adapted and accessible housing.

Transport

  • Community Transport Policy 2015 - in March 2015, the Scottish Government published the findings of a research project which highlighted the social, economic and health benefits of community transport and is considering how to provide further support for the sector in the coming years.
  • National Concessionary Bus Travel Scheme - provides free bus travel across Scotland to people living in Scotland aged 60 and over and eligible disabled people. In addition, residents of Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles can have two return ferry journeys to the mainland every year.
  • Queensferry Forth Replacement Crossing Team - an access panel including the Mobility and Access Committee Scotland, Scottish Disability Equality Forum, Disabilities Fife and access champions meet regularly to manage the design of the new bridge project.
  • Scottish Rail Accessibility Forum - brings together the Scottish Government, rail industry representatives and Disabled People's Organisations. This Forum ensures the views and needs of disabled people are heard when discussing rail passenger accessibility.
  • Mobility and Access Committee Scotland (MACS) - is sponsored by Transport Scotland to advise Scottish Ministers on issues on improving the accessibility of public transport services for disabled travellers.
  • Increasing step-free access - work is underway through the Access for All Programme to increase the number of rail stations that provide step free access to disabled people.
  • The 'Roads for All' Forum - has produced a good practice Guide on inclusive roads design.
  • The Ferries Accessibility Fund - encourages ferry and harbour operators to bid for money for accessibility projects for improvements that go beyond statutory requirements.
  • Disabled People's Parking Places (Scotland) Act 2009 - under the Act, local authorities now have a duty to enforce all disabled street parking places.
  • The Disabled Persons' Parking Badges (Scotland) Act 2014 - provides increased powers to local authorities to tackle misuse of blue badges and provides a review process for applicants who have been rejected.
  • Transport Scotland Summit - working with disability-related groups, Transport Scotland brought together disabled people and transport providers to discuss key transport issues affecting disabled people in Scotland. In addition, Scottish Disability Equality Forum held consultation events across Scotland for Access Panels to inform the Transport Scotland Summit.

Culture and Tourism

  • Historic Scotland Accessibility - the website provides access details for disabled people along with brief descriptions of the types of display and tactile qualities of the artefacts. An access guide to attractions is available on alternative formats on request.
  • VisitScotland Accessible Tourism Programme - is a free, online training programme for tourism businesses, giving practical advice on how to better cater for disabled people and their travelling companions.
  • Access Statements - VisitScotland has worked with VisitEngland to offer a free online tool for tourism businesses to complete an access statement to benefit disabled people and older people.
  • Accessible Glasgow and Lanarkshire pilot project - VisitScotland is leading a pilot project which aims to create an accessible 'destination' within Scotland. The pilot is in Glasgow and Strathclyde Country Park and involves a range of tourism services, including tourist accommodation, tourist attractions, hospitality establishments and transport providers.
  • Creative Scotland - supports disabled people through funding, development and advocacy. Core funding is across visual art, theatre, music and dance, all disabilities and Deaf/hearing impairment. It is developing accessibility in arts venues and provides additional costs for access where required.
  • Arts Programmes - include Indepen-dance an inclusive dance company for disabled people; Solar Bear is Deaf theatre including a Deaf youth theatre. Birds of Paradise is an award-winning disabled-led theatre company and Project Ability is visual arts for people with learning disabilities and mental health issues.
  • BSL Theatre - the Scottish Government is funding a symposium in Glasgow in late 2015 to celebrate Deaf theatre in Scotland and to launch the first BSL in Theatre course in Europe.
  • Time to Shine - Scotland's first National Youth Arts Strategy 2013-23 - Time to Shine was developed for young people and, through the youth advisory group, Youth Arts Voice Scotland, is being led by young people. A key focus is on tackling inequalities and removing barriers. These include physical, social or economic barriers that prevent young people realising their potential through the arts as creators, professionals or young enthusiasts. The Youth Arts Hub developments are building upon the local cultural infrastructure to ensure that young people, including those who are disabled are able to access arts.
  • Age Impairments - Luminate is an accessible arts programme for older people and Macroberts arts centre is a dementia-friendly venue.
  • Autism Access Awards - is a new autism-friendly standard for buildings and facilities. The Scottish Parliament became the first award holder in Scotland.

Sports and Physical Activity

  • Commonwealth Games Legacy - aims for a more active Scotland; Building a legacy from the Commonwealth Games is a programme with more than 50 national legacy 2014 programmes including some for disabled people. £2 million of funding has been provided by the Scottish Government to work with partners to ensure that we capitalise on the inspiration that the games provided.
  • Improving access to sports and physical activity - the Scottish Government is working with the Equality and Human Rights Commission and stakeholders on recommendations to improve access to sports.
  • National Strategic Group for Sport and Physical Activity - the Scottish Government will continue to work with COSLA in this group to ensure that planning activities are aligned with their work to support access for disabled people.

Outcome 2 - Health, Support and Disabled Children and Young People

What evidence tells us

We are concerned about poverty levels amongst the disabled population and the negative effects this can have on health. From the evidence in the Inclusion Scotland 'Social Protection and Disabled People in Scotland' Report, disabled people are twice as likely to live in poverty as non-disabled people and 30% already live in relative poverty. The report further reveals that the UK Government's welfare reforms are making the poverty and poor health already experienced by Scotland's disabled people much worse. While it is too early for a substantive analysis, GPs have warned that the UK 'may be on the brink of a health and social care crisis the like of which has not been seen for a generation'.

Independent living relies on having fit-for-purpose support services that are responsive to specific needs - not just in terms of social care, but health and support services as a whole.

So whilst direct financial support represents a huge step forward in enabling disabled people to get the support they need and in the way they want, it can only ever be truly effective if the services exist at local level to meet those needs and wants.

'The Social Protection and Disabled People in Scotland' Report expressed concern that the impact of the UK Government's welfare reforms, reduced support services and increased charging will make it harder for disabled people to live independently and participate in the community. These measures are taking away the financial resources and services they rely on to do so.

The report goes on to say that disabled people are pleased that the Scottish Government listened to their views and decided to keep a Scottish Independent Living Fund open, for new applicants too. The Independent Living Fund for the rest of the UK has been closed.

Where are we now

Work is already happening to ensure that disabled people have access to flexible, self-directed health and community care services. This includes:

  • 2020 Vision - the Scottish Government is committed to the 2020 Vision for health and social care, ensuring our healthcare system is able to adapt to the changing needs of the people of Scotland. The Vision is designed to empower service users; drive service improvement and improve understanding of equality issues. The key themes of a 10-15 year plan will be scoped out in 2015 with a wide range of stakeholders.
  • Self-Management - is critical to the Scottish Government's Quality Strategy which sets out a 2012 Vision for a safe, effective and person-centred health service. Self-management enables people living with long-term conditions to take control and manage their own health.
  • Self-Management Fund - administered by the Long Term Conditions Alliance Scotland, this Scottish Government Fund has provided over £6 million in small grants to voluntary sector groups to share good practice and the develop of new approaches to self-management.
  • Integration of Adult Health and Social Care - aims to improve the quality and experience of services for service users, carers and their families. Each integration partnership is legally bound to consult and involve people who use their services in planning, including children and young people who represent a third of users. Disabled People's Organisations are represented on the Cross Sector Group which oversees implementation and delivery.
  • Charging Guidance Working Group - the Scottish Government will continue to work with COSLA and other stakeholders to improve the consistency of the charging system for social care. We are supportive of the working group set up to consider improvements to charging guidance and that continuous improvement is delivered through co-production.
  • Building the capacity of Disabled People's Organisations - Inclusion Scotland is working with other Disabled People's Organisations to ensure that the views of seldom heard groups such as minority ethnic (BME) disabled people are heard by policy makers and service providers.
  • Keys to Life - the successor policy to 'The Same as You' - this national strategy by the Scottish Government and COSLA aims to ensure that people of all ages with learning disabilities are well supported and able to participate fully in society.
  • Adult Support and Protection - a number of national level projects are ongoing to improve the support and protection to adults at risk of harm. This includes financial harm, adult protection in Care Homes, and adult protection in A&E, national data collection and service users and carer engagement. We have developed an audit tool and training package for A&E staff and guidance for care homes, compiled first stage of data and information and are working on a national strategy on financial harm.
  • Adult Protection Awareness - in 2015 the Scottish Government launched a media campaign to increase awareness of adult protection issues with a strong focus on how vulnerable people can be targeted for money.
  • Child Protection Disability Guidance - in 2014 a toolkit was launched to enable practitioners to better target protection support to disabled children.
  • Short Breaks Fund - funding of over £14 million has been provided by the Scottish Government to Shared Care Scotland to manage on behalf of National Carer Organisations. The following are a sample of short breaks on offer:
    • Better Breaks - funded by Scottish Government, Better Breaks provides grants to the third sector organisations to develop creative short break opportunities for disabled children, young people with additional support needs, and their families and carers.
    • Take a Break Fund - the Scottish Government has invested £8 million in this initiative which is administered by the Family Fund. Each grant enables a family caring for a disabled or seriously ill child or young person up to the age of 20 to choose a break to improve quality of life, health and wellbeing for the whole family.
    • Creative Breaks - part of Scottish Government's commitment to short breaks for the benefit of carers and those they care for, the Creative Breaks Grant Programme is improving the range, choice and availability of short breaks.
    • Carer Positive Kitemark - encourages employers to be more carer friendly and recognises those who have a supportive environment where carers are valued. It also supports carers who want to return to and remain in work.
    • Equal Partners in Care - are principles to increase workforce knowledge and skills so that carers and young carers play an equal role in planning and decisions. The EPiC framework supports workforce learning in health, social services and other sectors with a role in identifying and supporting carers of all ages.
    • Friendship events - is funded by the Scottish Government and is a programme launched by equal futures and partners throughout Scotland to encourage people with learning disabilities to meet new friends and form relationships.
    • Family Fund Trust - is part of the Scottish Government commitment to poverty relief following welfare benefits cuts. £3 million annually supports families of severely ill or disabled children on low incomes in Scotland. Grants and other assistance are to help with the additional pressures they face and lead a normal life as is possible by having the same choices and opportunities as other families.
    • Services for Disabled Children - Scottish Government funding to Children in Scotland and for Scotland's Disabled Children (fSDC) is to increase the involvement of parents and carers in their work, promoting rights and justice for disabled children and improving public policy and practice.
    • Sleep Scotland - Scottish Government funded Sleep Scotland to provide essential sleep advice and counseling to disabled children and young people. Early intervention to improve the quality of sleep of a child or young person with additional support needs will improve their overall life outcomes, enabling children to achieve their potential educationally, physically and mentally. It also gives parents and carers back control over their lives to continue to support their families.
    • Capability Scotland - the Scottish Government has commissioned a research project with young disabled people on how they can be involved to make decisions about their lives and how practitioners can support them to do this. Resources will be developed to help organisations such as local authorities.
    • The Health and Social Care Alliance (The ALLIANCE) - the Scottish Government has funded a project for informing professionals, children and young people about Getting it Right For Every Child (GIRFEC) with publications produced in accessible formats. It will have ongoing engagement with Community Planning Partnerships.
    • Sense Scotland - the Scottish Government has funded an early years project which provided support for families of disabled babies and children with profound and multiple communication needs. (ongoing)

Outcome 3 - Education, Paid Employment and Income

What evidence tell us

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Salamanca Statement Framework for Action states, "Inclusion and participation are essential to human dignity and to the enjoyment and exercise of human rights"[12].

But still, many disabled people living in Scotland don't have the same opportunities as non-disabled people when it comes to education and employment and training, leading to feelings of isolation, lack of self-worth and in some cases, poverty.

In 2012-13 20% of individuals in families containing a disabled adult were in relative poverty and for families with no disabled adult the figure was 14%.

Within education, negative attitudes can be every bit as disabling as the physical environment. However, we are seeing improvements. Attainment for disabled school leavers has been improving over the last two years with data on secondary and special school disabled leavers showing an increase in average. The rate of exclusions has also dropped for disabled pupils and non-disabled pupils. But in 2012-13 disabled pupils were twice as likely to be excluded as pupils without a disability. There is also an improving picture on leaver destinations as disabled pupils moving on to an initial positive destination has increased by 3.2% from 81.8% in 2011-12 to 85% in 2012-13. In the Programme for Government, improving school attainment for all and improving the attainment gap is a Scottish Government priority.

Inclusion Scotland's report 'Social Protection and Disabled People in Scotland' indicates that tougher criteria for disability benefits, cuts in services and increased service charges mean that disabled people are losing support which makes their access to indoor and outdoor facilities and transport difficult and not on equal terms with non-disabled people. Using the Department of Work and Pension's projections, it is estimated that by 2018 over 80,000 disabled people in Scotland will lose some or all of the help with mobility costs that they were previously entitled to do from Disability Living Allowance. Of this, 47,000 will no longer qualify for 'higher rate' mobility and one in three who currently receive higher rate mobility use it to lease Motability vehicles and now face losing that vehicle.

To qualify for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) mobility, a person must be unable to walk 20 metres unaided. This was previously 50 metres. Essential services such as transport can rarely be accessed within 20 metres of a disabled person's home. PIP excludes young people under 16 and older people over 64 years of age.

The UK Government launched its Digital by Default Strategy in 2013 with the aim of having the majority of applications for benefits made on line. This excludes people who have a learning disability, a visual impairment or no internet access at home. It also excludes disabled people who are not able to travel to a location with internet access, have the money to pay for internet access and those who are unable to complete a form in the restricted time allowed by public computers.

Added to this, patients who cannot read or write and have significant health problems, while those with mental health problems, addictions and cognitive impairments find the welfare system confusing, difficult to navigate and damaging to their health. Disabled people are concerned that adequate support to help them find and stay in suitable employment is not provided. Disabled people of working age are only half as likely to be in employment as non-disabled people and the situation is worse for certain impairment groups, for example only 13% of adults with learning disabilities who are of working age are in full-time employment or training in Scotland.

There has also been a recent introduction of fees for employment tribunals by the UK Government creating a financial barrier resulting in a 46% year-on-year reduction in disability cases since the introduction of these fees. The success rate of disability discrimination cases at employment tribunals is very low, 3% in 2011-12.

Appropriate careers guidance - or lack of it - is another area of concern, with nearly a quarter of disabled young people saying they hadn't received enough information to help them make the right choices for their future[13].

According to one 2011 study the situation is getting worse, estimating that the disability employment penalty - the extent to which disabled people are less likely to have a job than otherwise similar non-disabled people - was 28% in 2000, compared with 17% in 1987[14].

Where we are now

Ongoing work to improve access to education, employment and income includes:

Education

  • Scotland's Schools for the Future - this £1.13 billion programme will help education authorities replace or refurbish schools in bad condition. Local authorities will receive funding for buildings that are fully accessible to disabled people and where education is accessible for pupils with additional support needs. By 2020 it is expected that 110 schools will have been rebuilt or refurbished.
  • Attainment Advisors - Education Scotland is appointing a new advisor for each local authority and an Education Bill was introduced in March 2015 aimed at improving children's rights. Local authorities will need to reduce the attainment gap and report on progress.
  • The Scottish Attainment Challenge - was launched in 2015 backed by a £100 million fund over four years to drive forward improvements in educational outcomes in the most disadvantaged communities. The Scottish Government will work closely with local authorities to ensure improvement plans meet their specific needs.
  • Young Deaf Learners - two successful conferences were held for young Deaf learners in Glasgow by Education Scotland.
  • respectme - is managed by the Scottish Association for Mental Health in partnership with LGBTI Youth Scotland. This national anti-bullying service equips adults involved in the lives of children and young people with the practical skills to help those who are bullied or who bully others. The service also campaigns at national level to raise awareness of the impact that bullying can have and the help available.
  • Developing the Young Workforce - Scotland's Youth Employment Strategy[15] will improve employer engagement to support recruitment of young disabled people; creating Career Information, Advice and Guidance and Work Experience standards which recognise the inequalities faced by young disabled people and provide a supported work experience programme for young disabled people.

Paid Employment

  • Fair Work Convention - was confirmed in the Programme for Government. It will provide independent advice to the Scottish Government on innovative and productive workplaces, industrial relations, fair work and the living wage.
  • Modern Apprenticeships - under representation by young disabled people in our Modern Apprenticeship Programme is a key priority for the Scottish Government and Skills Development Scotland. We are working to address this with Barnado's, and other industry and delivery partners. This is part of the National Programme for Developing Scotland's Young Workforce and the Programme for Government.
  • Moving it On - funded by the Scottish Government, this project in the Scottish Borders brings together third sector and public sector to increase access to training and employment amongst people with learning difficulties and other vulnerable adults.
  • The Scottish Consortium for Learning Disabilities - runs Project Search, a supported employment programme to help young people find and keep a job. The Scottish Government are also funding Falkirk Council to develop a local model of supported employment with employers.
  • Disability Equality: Tomorrow's Employers - funded by the Scottish Government, the Scottish Disability Equality Forum is working to promote awareness of disability equality. Schools, youth enterprise projects and business start-ups, to Business Gateway, Access to Work and Access Panels are involved.
  • Limelite Equality and Action Programme - providing training, mentoring and work placements in mainstream theatres, this project is creating pathways for employment within the performing arts for people with impairments.
  • My Skills, My Strengths, My Right to Work - by challenging and changing employers' perceptions of people living with long-term conditions, this Alliance project is working to reduce discrimination and increase sustainable employment opportunities.
  • Supported Employment - following the closure of the Remploy factories and businesses in Scotland, the Remploy Stakeholders Advisory Group was established and chaired by the Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism, Fergus Ewing. The group worked with Haven, a leading not-for-profit organisation providing rehabilitation, training and care services for disabled and socially excluded people throughout the UK. The formal opening of Haven Enterprises Larbert provides three supported businesses and the Centre for Training Excellence. This is a pilot project with Momentum, Falkirk Council and the Scottish Government to support disabled people to access quality, sustainable employment.
  • Access Panels and the Third Sector - the Scottish Government is enabling SDEF, as the umbrella body for Access Panels in Scotland, to establish links and partnerships with the third sector across Scotland.
  • Community Jobs Scotland - this partnership between the Scottish Government and the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations is supporting young people into sustainable employment through meaningful, paid work experience in the third sector.
  • Parliamentary internships for disabled graduates - the Scottish Government funded an access to elected office pilot parliamentary internship scheme through Inclusion Scotland. This provided opportunities for seven disabled graduates to gain experience of working in the Scottish Parliament. An additional five places have been funded for 2015-16.
  • Equality Internship Programme - an Equality Internship Programme was created. It is being taken forward in conjunction with the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, BEMIS, CEMVO, Inclusion Scotland and the Scottish Disability Equality Forum. It provides employment opportunities for disabled people in Scotland. A total of 75 internships were created in 2014 with a further 34 opportunities underway in 2015.
  • Disabled Graduates in the NHS - a two-year Professional Careers Programme for disabled graduates is being developed in partnership with the NHS in Scotland (NHSS), Glasgow Centre for Inclusive Living Equality Academy and the Scottish Government. The scheme aims to provide employment opportunities for disabled graduates in the NHSS and increase the representation of disabled people in professional training positions across the NHSS. It will also provide valuable work experience to help secure permanent employment at the end of the two-year placement.

Income and Assistance

  • Welfare Funding - the Scottish Government is working with a range of groups including Disabled People's Organisations to lessen the impact of the UK Government's welfare reforms. This includes providing £7.9 million for advice and support services; committing £40 million with local government to plug the gap in Council Tax funding; committing 33 million to the Scottish Welfare Fund and allocating £400,000 to help the transition to the new system.
  • First Minister's Poverty Adviser - in a wide-ranging remit, Naomi Eisenstadt, the First Minister's poverty adviser will work across all policy areas within the Scottish Government recommending actions needed to tackle poverty and holding the Government's performance to account. This new role fits in the Scottish Approach, the discussions on a Fairer Scotland and will also help lead the debate on addressing poverty in Scotland. The Poverty Adviser will raise awareness of the realities of living in poverty and report to Ministers on how these problems might be reduced.
  • Fuel Poverty Strategy - older and disabled households struggle to pay their fuel bills. The Scottish Fuel Poverty Forum is working with the Scottish Government to ensure that no one is living in fuel poverty by November 2016.
  • Home Energy Efficiency Programmes (HEEPS) for Scotland - over the past five years the Energy Assistance Scheme (EAS) has provided 46,000 vulnerable households with heating and insulation. This programmes particularly helps reduce energy bills for older and disabled people and children under five years of age living in fuel poverty. The Scottish Government has announced a contract of up to £224 million over the next seven years for a national fuel poverty scheme.

Outcome 4 - Justice

What evidence tells us

In its publication Rights and Reality: Disabled People's Experience of Accessing Services, Leonard Cheshire Disability found that 70% of disabled people know little or nothing about their rights under the Disability Discrimination Act. This is compounded by a lack of independent advocacy in Scotland and that there are very few places for disabled people to go for targeted legal advice.

We know that more disabled people than non-disabled can experience hate crime or be affected by discrimination - for example, being discriminated against at work, or for having a mobility aid such as a hearing or seeing dog.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission report on disability hate crime, Hidden in Plain Sight states:

"Disabled people are more likely to be victims of hate crime than other citizens. A culture of disbelief exists around this issue."[16]

We also know that only a small minority of disabled people are prepared to report discrimination or a hate crime for fear of being unfairly judged or punished.

Making matters worse, those who do proceed through the justice system are often subject to inequality and unfair treatment.

Where we are now

Some ongoing work in this policy area includes:

  • Criminal Justice Disability Project Team - has been tasked by the Justice Equality and Diversity Group to deliver an action plan of 81 recommendations to increase access to criminal justice for disabled people. Its members are from the main criminal justice organisations. This group will report to the Justice Board which oversees the outcomes in the strategy for Justice in Scotland.
  • Victims and Witnesses Act 2014 - brings a number of changes into law to improve the experience of victims and witnesses of Scotland's justice system, including giving victims automatic access to screens and video links when giving evidence.
  • Video Conferencing - as part of the Justice Digital Strategy, video conferencing is being piloted in courts, prisons and police stations and will benefit disabled people and those who live in institutions and rural areas.
  • The Letter of Rights - is provided by Police Scotland to enable people to understand exactly what their rights are when they are detained in a police station. Versions in Braille, British Sign Language and Easy Read are available.
  • Out in the Open: A Manifesto for Change - is the follow-on report by the EHRC to the Disability Harassment Inquiry. Out in the Open outlines the actions which Scottish Government, local authorities, social care organisations, criminal justice agencies and others have committed to eliminate the harassment of disabled people.
  • Empowering Deaf Communities - funded by the Scottish Government, this project led by the British Deaf Association empowers Deaf people by equipping them with the skills and knowledge to contribute to developments in equality policy such as independent living and addressing disabled hate crime. They are now working with public bodies to better understand and meet the needs of Deaf and Deafblind BSL users.
  • Open Your Mind - this anti-bullying project funded by the Scottish Government focused on learning plans for schools to tackle the underlying causes of hate crime, teacher support to deliver lessons and the national Learning Disability hate crime awareness campaign.
  • Third Party Hate Crime Reporting Centres - Scottish Disability Equality Forum is working with Police Scotland to support Access Panels to become third party reporting centres, and has worked closely with Police Scotland to deliver events about hate crime to disabled people.
  • Speak Up Against Hate Crime - launched in 2014, this first Scottish Government social media hate crime campaign urged victims of hate crime to make their voice heard and report incidents to Police Scotland.
  • Scotland - No Place for Prejudice - is Police Scotland's campaign launched in August 2015.
  • Who Do I Turn To? - the Scottish Consortium for Learning Disability was funded by the Scottish Government to raise awareness of disability hate crime among adults with learning disabilities through an innovative play co-performed by professional actors and people with learning disabilities.
  • 2015 Hate Crime Summit - the Scottish Government will host a summit of key stakeholders to take stock of the progress made and discuss how we can identify next steps to tackling hate crime, ensuring violence against Scotland's minority communities is prevented and eradicated.

Contact

Email: Catherine Hewit