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Minister launches new support plan for people with learning disabilities

The updated Keys to Life framework aims to help people in Scotland live more independently and play a full role in their communities.

Mental Health Minister Clare Haughey launched the new framework (Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament/PA)
Mental Health Minister Clare Haughey launched the new framework (Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament/PA)

A new plan has been launched to help support people with learning disabilities.

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

The Keys to Life framework, launched by the Scottish Government and council umbrella body Cosla, sets out plans to inform more employers about available help, such as a job coach or supported employment.

Further plans include encouraging NHS Scotland to employ more people with learning disabilities, ensuring their needs are considered by public transport providers – particularly bus companies – and are reflected in housing provision decisions.

Speaking at the launch in Edinburgh, Mental Health Minister Clare Haughey said: “We want Scotland to be an inclusive society in which everyone can play a full role.

“We are absolutely committed to changing attitudes and to showing the positive contributions that people with learning disabilities make.

“The new framework is about children and young people as well as adults, and it is also about the whole life journey, not just health and social care.”

The three-year implementation plan, an update on the former framework published in 2015, also pledges to build “further capacity” in additional support in schools.

The framework, developed with the Scottish Commission on Learning Disabilities and the Scottish Learning Disabilities Observatory, also covers healthy relationships and the right to become a parent.

PA

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