The keys to life engagement Process

Extensive engagement was done with people with learning disabilities to explore how best to deliver the vision of The keys to life and A Fairer Scotland for Disabled People into sustained improvement in the lives of people with learning disabilities.

The key themes of the Unlocking Futures Implementation Framework– wellbeing, living, working and learning - started to emerge from this work.

This approach was developed by engagement with people with learning disabilities and their supporters:

  • The whole system approach was discussed with The Scottish Government’s The keys to life expert group of people with learning disabilities who provided valuable early feedback.
  • A range of third sector experts was invited by the Minister for Mental Health to take part in a Policy Reference Group to provide advice on the next phase of delivery.
  • A series of events were held with young people with a learning disability who told us about their aspirations and expectations for the future.
  • We heard from people with a learning disability through ARC Scotland’s National Involvement Network, People First, PAMIS family carers, ENABLE Scotland, Down’s Syndrome Scotland and the Thistle Foundation.

A series of stakeholder events were held in Glasgow, Inverness, Dumfries and Edinburgh. The events attracted policy professionals, service providers, family carers and people with learning disabilities, and gave everyone an opportunity to share their thoughts about what the next implementation priorities should be. Specific points made during these engagement sessions can be found in the Priorities section of the website.

We have used the feedback from this engagement alongside learning from a range of other activities.

We heard very often that attitudes to people with a learning disability need to change and that this means focusing not just on challenges but on capabilities too. In particular, we were also reminded of the need to shape what we do to meet the legitimate aspirations of a new generation who expect a different future.

People with learning disabilities want to be part of the change by acting as leaders, supporting their peers and promoting understanding as positive role models.  

As part of our work moving forward, we will work with people with a learning disability, SCLD and stakeholders to promote awareness, through investing in targeted activities about the contributions that people with a learning disability can and do make.