Date for responding to disability bill approaches

Scotlands-disabled-children-1400px

The bill aims to ensure every disabled child with an impairment or long-term health condition has a right to a transition plan

16th January 2020 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

A consultation on legislation which aims to ensure young people living with a disability receive support with the transition to adulthood will close later this month.

Johann Lamont has launched a bill in the Scottish Parliament to ensure every disabled child with an impairment or long-term health condition has a right to a transition plan.

Although every child is entitled to a child’s plan there is at present no statutory requirement to put a plan in place to assist disabled children and young people in their transition to adulthood. As a result, the transitions for many disabled children and young people are often challenging, and consistently deliver poorer outcomes. The bill aims to ensure support with transitions will remain in place until no longer needed, or the young person’s 26th birthday.

The proposed bill would require Scottish Ministers to introduce, and implement, a National Transitions Strategy to improve outcomes for children and young people with a disability in the transition to adulthood. It would also require local authorities to introduce a transitions plan ensuring each child and young person with a disability receives appropriate care and support before, and during, the transition to adulthood; and for connected purposes.

Johann Lamont MSP said: “My proposal is about fairness for young disabled people and ensuring they have the right to proper support as they make the transition to adulthood. This is a crucial stage in the campaign and I would encourage people to respond to the consultation. The more voices heard and stories shared the stronger the case for change will be.”

The consultation is open until 22 January and responses can be made online.

Camphill Scotland, Camphill School Aberdeen, Ochil Tower School and Inclusion Scotland have all supported the development of the bill.

Dr Neil Henery, director of Camphill Scotland, said: “It is very sad to see the appalling dislocation that can take place in the lives of young people with a disability when they enter the transition from education to adult services. By rebalancing some of the power towards young people and their families, this bill will provide important safeguards for young disabled people during this vital period in their lives. We strongly encourage anyone with an interest in making a real difference for young people with a disability to respond to this consultation.”