A campaign calling for Scotland to become the Inclusive Communication Nation has received a boost
Scotland can lead the way on inclusive communication, a charity campaign has said.
The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT), Inclusion Scotland and Camphill Scotland are leading a campaign that calls for Scotland to become the Inclusive Communication Nation.
The campaign aims to ensure Scotland becomes the first country to remove the persistent and universal barriers to equality and human rights that exclusive communication creates.
The campaign received a boost this month when the Scottish Parliament supported changes to the new Consumer (Scotland) Bill.
The two amendments - put forward by Ruth Maguire MSP - require the new consumer agency for Scotland, Consumer Scotland, to use inclusive communication in its provision of advice to, and advocacy on behalf of, consumers. The charities say this will benefit large numbers of vulnerable consumers who have communication difficulties.
Kim Hartley Kean, head of the RCSLT in Scotland, said: “As the second piece of law in Scotland to require a major public agency to implement best inclusive communication practice (the other being Social Security Scotland) this represents one step further to making Scotland possibly the first Inclusive Communication Nation.
“The need to Covid proof our world makes inclusive communication even more important. Understanding information and being able to express needs has literally become a matter of life and death.
“RCSLT and others hope one day soon that Scotland will have one law to cover every part of our community and every communication disadvantaged group. I’m really encouraged by the government and parliament’s positive support for inclusive communication.”
Bill Scot, senior policy advisor for Inclusion Scotland, said: “The inclusive communications amendments to the consumer bill will potentially benefit hundreds of thousands Scots disabled people with communication impairments. The first step in exercising your rights is knowing about them and making the new service accessible to those with communication difficulties is a huge step forward.
“Inclusion Scotland hopes that the legal commitments to inclusive communications in the provision of social security and consumer rights will become a model for all future public service delivery.”
Camphill Scotland director Neil Henery welcomed the amendments. He said: “This is terrific news. We really appreciate Ruth Maguire MSP’s hard work and dedication in securing the vital amendments to the Consumer (Scotland) Bill.
“These amendments will assist some of Scotland’s most vulnerable citizens to access the support they need to participate as fully as possible in society.”