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Disability transitions bill moves forward

This news post is over 2 years old

Plans which aim to secure better outcomes for young disabled people are progressing

New legislation which aims to ensure young people living with a disability receive support with the transition to adulthood has moved one step closer.

Pam Duncan-Glancy has has lodged a final proposal to introduce 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. The Labour MSP will secure the right to introduce the bill if she secures the support of 18 MSPs from at least two parties

The bill requires the Scottish Government to introduce a national transitions strategy to improve outcomes for children and young people with a disability in the transition to adulthood and calls for the appointment of a minister with special responsibility for transitions.

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. Support with transitions would then remain in place until no longer needed, or the young person’s 26th birthday.

The bill, which has been prepared with the support of Camphill Scotland and Inclusion Scotland, received unanimous support from the Equalities, Human Rights and Civil Justice Committee earlier this month and can now progress.

Emma Walker, director of Camphill Scotland, said: “We are delighted that the committee accepted Pam Duncan-Glancy’s statement of reasons, and that this bill can now progress. The experiences of young disabled people have been heard. We are a step closer to realising our ambition for every young disabled person to have a fair start in life, and should this legislation pass through parliament the positive impacts will be significant. Until then Camphill Scotland will continue to champion the transformative power of the transitions bill.”

Bill Scott, of Inclusion Scotland, said: “The prospects of young disabled people were pretty dire even before the pandemic struck but the emerging evidence suggests that things have become even worse over the last two years. Young people have been hit disproportionately with job losses and that means that there are a lot of young folk with work experience competing for jobs with young disabled people with no experience.

"Unless we get support in place in the very near future those young disabled people could spend their whole adult lives unemployed. Therefore, Inclusion Scotland welcomes the fact that the transitions bill will not suffer another needless delay”.