3. Delivering change
To bring about the changes we want to see in Scotland, and make rights a reality for disabled people, the Scottish Government must first make sure that we change the way we work and the way we engage with our communities.
Whatever the policy area or sector, whatever our individual area of responsibility, it's important that we do everything we can to ensure that these three themes are embedded into all that we do:
- Participation - disabled people are empowered to participate fully.
- Communication is accessible to, and inclusive of, all.
- Raising awareness - the barriers facing disabled people are known, understood and addressed.
3.1 Disabled people are empowered to participate more fully
For disabled people to be able to participate fully in all areas of daily and public life, whether individually or collectively, privately or in public, the right conditions must exist. This means safe, equal access to the physical environment and the provision of advice and support. It also means access to a society where politics, people and service providers support the social model of disability and recognise the value of removing disabling barriers.
If we achieve these conditions, disabled people will have more choice and control over their own lives, policies and services will be improved by the shared knowledge of the people who use them, and lasting, cost-efficient change will be realised.
3.2 Communication is accessible and inclusive to all
Accessible communication is just as important as an accessible physical environment, and more than one million people in Scotland experience some form of communication barrier.
This can include people with a learning disability, autistic spectrum disorders, dementia, neurological illness, stroke, cancer, head or brain injury, hearing impairment, visual impairment, people who are deaf or blind or who have a dual sensory impairment, as well as those who have aphasia, autism, motor neurone, cerebral palsy and mental illness.
Ensuring that information is accessible is a critical first step to accessing other rights. Plain English is a positive step, helping to communicate information in the clearest, most direct way possible. For those people whose first language is British Sign Language (BSL), the provision of information in BSL means that they too have full access to necessary information. Inclusive communication however, goes beyond this and includes all communication support needs. These range from the provision of palantypists and audio assistance, and use of alternative formats such as Easy Read and Braille.
Inclusive communication also means that policy makers and service providers need to ensure that views of people with communication support needs are fully heard, understood and valued and used to inform the development of policies and services.
3.3 Raising awareness
A key element of this delivery plan - and a requirement of the UNCRPD itself - is raising awareness of UNCRPD, and of the barriers which prevent disabled people from enjoying their human rights. By being able to access their rights under this Convention, independent living will become a reality for many disabled people. The commitments set out in this draft delivery plan represent a significant step towards that end goal.
The UNCRPD aims to protect and promote disabled people's human rights not just in relation to accessing health and social care, but in relation to all aspects of daily living.
The Scottish Government will continue to raise awareness of disabled people's human rights and promote the UNCRPD during the lifetime of the delivery plan and beyond.
Q15: Do you agree or disagree that these are the most important themes that the Scottish Government needs to build in to the way it works across all activity to achieve the rights of disabled people?
Agree □ Disagree □ Neither agree nor disagree □
Q16: Please comment here on your response above, or if you have any further comments on the themes.
Email: Catherine Hewit