Date lodged: 14 December 2016
To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to improve the lives of disabled people and break down barriers to opportunity.
Answered by: Jeane Freeman 11 January 2017
On 2 December 2016 we launched A Fairer Scotland for Disabled People: Our Delivery Plan to 2021 for the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Plan has five long term ambitions: support services that meet disabled people’s needs; decent incomes and fairer working lives; places that are accessible to everyone; protected rights; and active participation. The ambitions have 93 actions to help make a positive difference to the lives of disabled people.
We will ensure that there is opportunity for disabled people to hold us to account on progress with this plan. We will lay a progress report before Parliament in early 2021 to determine where we need to focus our efforts in the next parliamentary session.
Through engagement with stakeholders, principles underpinning our approach to Social Security in Scotland were developed which include placing dignity and respect at the heart of all we do. In addition, we have carried out an extensive consultation to help inform our approach and will be publishing a report on the consultation responses early this year. This will help to inform the work of the Disability and Carers' Benefits Expert Advisory Group which will also be established early this year to provide recommendations and guidance on issues including assessment for benefits in Scotland.
We will continue engagement through our stakeholder groups and the establishment of ‘Experience Panels’ involving at least 2,000 people, with recent experience of applying for or receiving benefits, to help us design, build and improve the new system, and support our work on a longer-term basis.