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Have your say on the future for autistic people in Scotland

22 Feb 2024

Have your say on the future for autistic people in Scotland Cover image

Participate in the public consultation on the new Scottish Government Learning Disabilities, Autism and Neurodiversity Bill (LDAN) and have your views and experiences heard.

“This public consultation marks what we hope will be a significant milestone on the journey towards the fair and inclusive society Scotland aspires to be." - Lived Experience Advisory Panel (LEAP)

The Scottish Government has launched the public consultation for the new Learning Disabilities, Autism and Neurodiversity Bill (LDAN Bill).

The LDAN Bill aims to better protect, respect and champion the rights of people with learning disabilities and neurodivergent people in Scotland.

The public consultation will help inform what goes into the LDAN Bill - this will affect how your rights as an autistic person will be protected and upheld, and how you can seek redress if they are not. 

It is important that as many of us as possible participate in the consultation, so the voices and experiences of autistic women and non-binary people are heard loud and clear and our priorities are well-represented within the LDAN Bill.

"This public consultation is not just a formality but an essential step in having our human rights respected and protected. Your feedback, your stories, your expertise, and your lived experiences will shape the content of this proposed Bill and inform future policy – please share your thoughts openly, honestly, and constructively and encourage others to participate too." 

- Lived Experience Advisory Panel

You can read the full consultation document in all formats here.

You can complete the online consultation here.

The consultation is open until 10pm on Sunday 21st April 2024

What does the Consultation ask about?

The consultation is split into 5 overarching themes:

  1. National and Local Strategies
  2. Mandatory Training
  3. Inclusive Communications
  4. Data
  5. Independent Advocacy

    And 14 key topic areas where change is needed:

    1. Health & wellbeing
    2. Mental Health and Capacity Law
    3. Social Care
    4. Housing and Independent Living
    5. Complex Care – Coming Home
    6. Relationships
    7. Access to Digital Technology
    8. Employment
    9. Social Security
    10. Justice
    11. Restraint and Seclusion
    12. Transport
    13. Education
    14. Transitions to Adulthood

    It also covers:

    • Identity - who can benefit from the provisions of the Bill
    • Accountability - how the Bill will ensure our rights are not ignored

    This breadth of areas for improvement is very welcome, but it does mean there’s a lot to digest and feed back on as it covers so many aspects of our lives. 

    You may want to focus on the areas which interest or affect you the most - or take some time to reflect and respond - you have until 21st April.

    How do I take part?

    First: Get informed – learn about the Bill.

    The Scottish Government has produced a short guide to the consultation as well as a full consultation document, and a number of alternative formats for you to read, watch or listen to.

    (You don't need look at everything - they are all versions of the same information - choose one or two options which suit you best.)

    The short guide sets out an overview of the LDAN Bill and outlines the broad purpose of the Bill.

    The full consultation document explains all of the Scottish Government proposals, so you can tell them what you think and influence how they develop the Bill.

    They have also produced the information in alternative formats:

    SEMA (Scottish Ethnic Minority Autistics) are running 3 events on 25th, 27th & 28th of March to support Minority Ethnic led organisations and those serving Minority Ethnic communities to understand and respond to the Bill. 

    They have also produced written information on the Bill in French, Igbo, Polish, Shona, Spanish and Urdu, as well as a video in Urdu

    See the LDAN Bill section on the SEMA website for full details.

    SCLD (Scottish Commission for People with Learning Disabilities) and Down’s Syndrome Scotland have broken down the different sections of the Bill so that we can all understand it more easily.

    We have included links to their materials below - you are also welcome to attend any of their consultation events.

    Next: Feed in your views

      There are a number of ways to participate in the consultation – online, in writing, in person, or by emailing an audio, video or BSL video file.

      You can complete the online consultation here.

        Good to know:

        • You don’t need to complete the online consultation all at once – you can ‘save and come back later’
        • You don’t need to complete every section – you can input on your priorities or as much as you have time and energy for
        • You can enter your email address to get a copy of your answers sent to you
        • When you’re finished, you MUST COMPLETE the ‘About You’ section and press SUBMIT!

        Or you can:

        Download and fill in the consultation response form and email it to: LDAN.Bill@gov.scot

        Print and fill in the consultation response form and post it to: ‘FREEPOST LDAN BILL’

        Record an audio or video file, or BSL video file and email it to: LDAN.Bill@gov.scot

        Attend a consultation event and feed back in person.

          The closing date for all submissions is 10pm on 21st April 2024

          How were neurodivergent people and people with learning disabilities involved in this work?

          The Scottish Government involved a Lived Experience Advisory Panel (LEAP) of people with learning disabilities, autistic people and other neurodivergent people in putting this consultation together. 

          They have also involved organisations like SWAN in the process leading up to the consultation over the past 2 years – some of you may have attended an initial consultation event SWAN held along with Scottish Government back in 2022.

          All aspects of consultation, including content, language, design and the ways we can participate have been overseen by the LEAP, which includes people from our SWAN network. 

          Their contributions are evident throughout, and we’d like to thank them all for the huge amounts of energy, emotion and hard work they put into overseeing this on all our behalf.

          "Never before has such an ambitious and far-reaching piece of proposed legislation been focused on recognising and promoting the rights of our community of people with learning disabilities and neurodivergent people. If we get this right, Scotland has the opportunity to become a leading light, not just in the United Kingdom, but across the world.

          Alongside the Scottish Government, the members of the LEAP urge you to seize this unique opportunity to help define the Scotland we all aspire to build here and now, and for generations to come.” - LEAP