New learning disabilities support framework

Keys to Life framework looks to “challenge perceptions and build opportunities”

Wednesday 13th March 2019

Launching a new framework designed to support individuals with learning disabilities, Minister for Mental Health, Clare Haughey, highlighted the importance of supporting “the whole life journey, not just health and social care”.

Enabling those with learning disabilities to live more independently, play a full part in their communities and achieve personal aspirations are some of the ambitions of the new framework, unlocking futures for people with learning disabilities implementation framework and priorities 2019-2021.

The new framework launched today by the Scottish Government and COSLA was created in partnership with Scottish Commission on Learning Disabilities (SCLD) and the Scottish Learning Disabilities Observatory.

The framework provides an implementation plan for the latter part of the keys to life strategy, first published in 2013.

The initiative focuses on ‘building a more inclusive society, where people with learning disabilities have the support they need across all aspects of their lives’.

Of the 26,349 people with learning disabilities in Scotland, only 7% are employed and 6.2% are in further education.

Keys to life will look to ‘raise the profile of employing people with a learning disability, as well as improving experiences in school and improving the transition from school to further education or employment’.

The initiative’s priorities are grouped under living, learning, working, and wellbeing, and also covers healthy relationships and the right to become a parent.

“This new implementation framework represents a step change in the aspirations of The Keys to Life strategy for people with learning disabilities”, says Chris Creegan, SCLD chief executive, “…underpinned by a whole system approach which recognises them as citizens with ambitions and talents who want to make a contribution to Scottish society. 

Councillor Stuart Currie, COSLA spokesperson for health and social care said:

“We are proud to launch this framework today with our partners, sending a strong message that we are committed to improving the lives of people with learning disabilities through whole-system improvements. 

“The Keys to Life seeks to improve people’s whole-life journey, enhance opportunities and deliver better outcomes around a set of themes that were identified by people with learning disabilities and we look forward to working with Scottish Government and the third sector to deliver this.”