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29th May 2016

Preparing to be inspired

In this Learning Disability Week in Scotland, it is good to welcome the ‘My Life, My Choice ' organisation as a partner with QCS in improving quality of care services.

The week in Scotland was co-ordinated by the Scottish Commission for Learning Disability (SCLD). The emphasis and theme for this year is 'Prepare to be inspired'.

And inspiring it certainly is. SCLD worked in partnership with the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) to support six new Fellowship opportunities for people with learning disabilities in Scotland. The opportunities were open to anyone over the age of 18 with a learning disability who wanted their creative idea to become a reality.

The winners of the awards included a visual artist, an author/playwright, a piper, a community entrepreneur a dancer/choreographer and a campaigner.

At the award ceremony, people told their story and what it meant to them. Chris Creegan of SCLD wrote that the winners said it meant they could hold their head high, that they were important, and that others could learn from them. There will be ongoing support for the award winners and new Fellows to take their vision forward.

Chris also spoke of the focus of the learning disability sector often being on rectifying inequality and lack of opportunity. It is refreshing to see this being turned on its head. Focussing on success is a powerful force against lack of opportunity and lack of aspiration. It is inspiring to carers, organisations and to the people themselves to show society what can be achieved. And these winners are the tip of the iceberg, as Chris states.

He is right that inequality and lack of opportunity need to be struggled against. The Scottish policy on learning disability, Keys to Life, focusses on the need to improve people's lives in many areas, its website lists the main recommendations to work for:

  • Human Rights
  • Commissioning of Public Services
  • Health
  • Independent Living
  • Shift the culture and keeping safe
  • Break the stereotypes
  • People with Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities
  • Criminal Justice
  • Complex care

The SCLD is working and planning to ensure that each of these goals is taken forward. Well done to them for also bringing forward the positives and successes which are possible and indeed widespread already in the community.

Tony Clarke – QCS Expert Scottish Care Contributor

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