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Rights of Children with Disabilities

The transition from childhood to adulthood can be a tough, confusing time for any young person; however the additional and unique challenges faced by those living with a disability can make adolescence even more formidable. A lack of meaningful involvement in service planning and decision making; discrimination; barriers to participation; access to services and activities; learning beyond school; opportunities to develop employability skills; inappropriate/ substandard accommodation; support during transitions and control over personal money and a lack of available support, provision and choice for themselves and their families as they move from child to adult services, can all contribute to pushing this already vulnerable group further towards social exclusion.

“Communication works, we need to bridge the gap between services and peer education”

“People need to feel as if someone cares about them and loves them”

“We need to promote inclusion”

“We must do more to challenge prejudice”

“More awareness of hidden disabilities”

“We need access to more inclusive services that everyone can access”

“Social workers should take a wider view”

“Risk-assessments can be too overprotective and stop disabled people from reaching their full potential”

“Some young people don’t want contact with their social worker”

“Communication with social workers needs to improve”

“Social workers look at guidelines instead of looking at the individual needs of a young person”

“Social workers changing and leaving when the decision was wrong”

“No child chooses to be looked after away from home/mentally ill/disabled – don’t label us”

“There is no point in doing risk assessments just to stop people from doing things”

“Accessibility is a big issue between non-wheelchair users and wheelchair users, places may seem accessible until you try to tackle them in a wheelchair”.

They Recommended:

“We must have a say in the services and choices that affect our lives”

“We need improved facilities and services – like frequent transport with decent access – in local communities”

“We need professionals to work together to give us better experiences”

“There must be better understanding of disabled peoples’ issues so we can participate fairly at all levels of society”

“We need increased volunteering and employment opportunities”

“Councils and house builders must regularly consult with the disabled community on housing design and the issues faced within the community, such as pavements, access to cash machines and playparks”

“Participation in respite care should be optional with the personal feelings of the disabled person being the main priority – not the carers”

“Flexibility is needed as people move in and out of areas – disabled people don’t want to be separated from their communities, or worse – made homeless”.

“All relevant legislation should be simple and easy to read”

“We need protection of young disabled people’s rights in order to empower us”

“Raise awareness and decrease abuse and discrimination”

“We need to be empowered and supported to make choices and decisions through the support of organisations such as GDA”

“We must be able to easily access information about our rights and support should be in place to achieve this”

“We need increased awareness-raising to prevent bullying and negative stereotyping”

“The Scottish Government should continue to work with organisations such as GDA to ensure the Independent Living in Scotland Initiative is fully implemented”

“We need people to understand that it is the way society is organised that restricts our life choices”

“Protection under the terms of the UNCRC should be extended to age 25 for young disabled people”

“Adults [parents and professionals] should be able to make the right decisions for young people but not over-protect them”.

“Benefits should be increased in order to allow access to essential respite care”

“Development Support should be affordable and take into account that many people cannot afford to live, and pay for care”

“We need greater awareness and training on disability rights for education staff”

“Improved transport provisions”

“Schools need to understand why we may need time off”

“People who need support should get it”

“We need appropriate accommodation”

“We need increased – rather than decreased benefits”.