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Human rights app launched as learning disabled face growing abuse

This news post is over 2 years old

Enables learning disabled to know their rights

A new app designed to help people with learning disabilities to understand their human rights has been launched by a charity.

The Scottish Commission for People with Learning Disabilities (SCLD) has developed an app to inform people of their rights in international law.

The development of the app has been led by a group of people with learning disabilities who have been working with the Scottish third sector’s SCLD and digital design company, Publishing Bureau, to create the finished product.

The app invites users to travel around a virtual human rights town where they encounter different scenarios at each location, such as using public transport or shopping at the supermarket.

Through practical examples the town introduces users to each of their human rights in turn and asks them to choose whether they believe their rights are being respected or not in each scenario. Users have the option of further explanation at each location.

Each scenario has been voiced over by a person with a learning disability who has helped to develop the app.

The app is available to download for free from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store from 30 August.

Charlie McMillan, SCLD’s chief executive said: “This app highlights real stories and problems experienced by people with learning disabilities and this authenticity was only possible because of their role as co-designers.

“This highlights exactly what people with learning disabilities can achieve when they are given the right support and opportunities.

“I also hope it helps to raise awareness of the UNCRPD throughout Scotland and helps support our country on its journey as a world leader in human rights. A journey that will only be complete when people with learning disabilities are fully able to realise their human rights and be involved in the heart of our communities through Scotland.”

The app is launched against a backdrop where people with learning disabilities experience health inequalities and abuses of their human rights. 

This was highlighted during the pandemic people with learning disabilities were at three times greater risk of death due to COVID-19, twice as likely to become infected with COVID-19 and twice as likely to have a severe COVID-19 infection.

People with learning disabilities are often victims of hate crime, which can include aggression and exploitation from other members of the public, who choose to target individuals because they have a learning disability.

The app aims to raise awareness of exploitation through its use of real-life situations, helping people to recognise when their human rights are not being respected and when they need to report a crime. 

Kate Sanger, parent carer to her daughter Laura and a member of the app development group said: “It is time for a change. My daughter may have a severe learning disability, but she should not face barriers to having her human rights upheld”.



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Louise MacLennnan
over 2 years ago

congratulations on this amazing piece of work which will improve the rights and equality of people with learning disabilities.

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