Politicians will begin hearing evidence on the proposed new Disabled and Young People (Transitions to Adulthood) Bill
MSPs on the Education Committee will this week begin hearing evidence on a proposed new bill that would guarantee young disabled people a right to a transition plan.
The bill, introduced by Glasgow MSP Johann Lamont, requires the government to introduce a national transitions strategy to improve outcomes for children and young people with a disability in the transition to adulthood.
Currently, every child is entitled to a child’s plan however there is 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.
Speaking ahead of the evidence session Lamont said: “This is a vital stage in the fight for a fairer system for young disabled people and their families.
“For far too many families the transition has been prolonged and traumatic. With no real support, framework, or safeguards in place young disabled people face an incredibly stressful situation that is leaving a long-term impact on their ability to participate as a valuable member of the community.
“MSPs examining this proposal should be in no doubt about the daily struggles and challenges many people face. We need to do much more to assist young disabled people and my Bill aims to help address the problems they face and provide the additional support that they so desperately need.
“The Bill has the support of every party in parliament and gained significant backing during two extensive consultation exercises. With the right will and backing we can make a real and positive difference for families across Scotland.”
Bill Scott, senior policy advisor at Inclusion Scotland, said: “The pandemic has deepened and exposed huge inequalities in Scottish society. None are greater than those faced by young disabled people who lose critical support when they need it most in making the transition between school and adult life.
“As a result, the majority face a life of worklessness and social isolation. This bill could change that and the pandemic means that it’s needed now more than ever."
Emma Walker, director of Camphill Scotland, said: “Families in every part of Scotland are having to fight for their child’s right to support when making the transition into adulthood, with no guarantees that they will receive any.
"Young disabled people in Scotland are being failed. Providing transitions plans will ensure that each person has the support that they need. This bill would change the lives of the current and future generations of young people.”