Annual Review 2018 - 2019 Scottish Commission for Learning Disability


Join us as we embark on a journey through some of the highlights of SCLD's working year 2018 - 2019.

I am delighted to introduce the Scottish Commission for Learning Disability’s first digital annual review...

It showcases some important highlights from SCLD’s work over the financial year 2018 - 2019. The 2018 Scottish Learning Disability Week was a huge success, as people with learning disabilities, and those who work with and for them, got involved with our ‘My Generation’ theme. We were also supported by the First Minister who took part in our ‘Show and Tell’ activity.

We continued to work to improve life for people with learning disability across key areas, such as employment and supporting people in their family life. Our Employment TASK Group issued its report with recommendations on how to support more people with learning disabilities into jobs. Through the work of our Parenting TASK Group, we ensured that the voices of supported parents and children were reflected in policy.

This is just a snap shot of how we are gathering evidence, leading on policy innovation and promoting culture and systems change to make a positive impact on the lives of people with learning disabilities. I would like to express my appreciation and thanks to the brilliant staff at SCLD, including our former CEO Chris Creegan, and my fellow Trustees on the SCLD Board. I feel so privileged to be the Chair of SCLD, and I look forward to sharing more of our positive impact with you in the future, as we find new and better ways to improve the lives of people with learning disabilities.

Eddie McConnell, SCLD Chair

The achievements captured in this annual review underline why I am so excited and honoured to have been appointed as the Chief Executive of SCLD...

I look forward to leading the team on finding new and better ways to improve the lives of people with learning disabilities in Scotland.

During 2018 - 2019, SCLD was pivotal in the delivery of The keys to life Implementation Framework 2019 - 2021, leading an engagement process throughout Scotland to hear the voices of people with learning disabilities. The new framework captures these thoughts and recognises that people with learning disabilities are not merely patients or service users, but whole people and active citizens, who need support for their whole life journey.

This annual review showcases a hugely positive year for SCLD, but there is still much more to do. We also made significant progress in implementing the outcomes of our IPSOS Mori commissioned report on housing, and we published our report on the provision of independent advocacy for people with learning disabilities across Scotland, supporting people to have a stronger voice in what matters to them.

The stories in this Annual Review would not have been possible without the support we receive from the Scottish Government. I look forward to building on these firm foundations, to realise our mission and purpose, and to continuing to work with new and existing partners across the learning disability community, and beyond.

Charlie McMillan, Chief Executive

What did we do?

It's been an action-packed year for SCLD! Here are the highlights from 2018 - 2019:

We conveyed the needs of people with learning disabilities in twelve Scottish Government policy consultations

We represented the voice of people with learning disabilities at over a hundred policy events

We raised awareness about the lives of people with learning disabilities:

  • Through Learning Disability Week and Awards 2018
  • Through the reporting of our policy Task Groups
  • Through strategic engagement with stakeholders.

In March 2019, a new The keys to life: Unlocking Futures Implementation Framework was published. As a strategic partner, SCLD supported the Scottish Government and COSLA in the development of the new framework for Scotland's learning disability strategy. This activity included acting as the secretariat for a group of third sector experts who provided advice to Scottish Government Ministers. In addition, a series of stakeholder events events were held across Scotland where people with learning disabilities and those who work with and for them, could share their views.

The new framework is structured around four policy themes; living, learning, working and wellbeing. It takes a whole system, whole population and whole person approach. This seeks to work across different policy areas to support people with learning disabilities of all ages, recognising their capabilities and assets as well as the challenges they face.

Learning Disability Week 2018

Monday 13th - Sunday 19th May

Scotland's Learning Disability Week exists to share the rarely heard stories of the lives of people with learning disabilities. In 2018, the theme was 'My Generation' - to conicide with Young Scot's 'Year of Young People 2018' (YOYP).

'Show and Tell'

People were asked to get involved by taking part in a 'Show and Tell' - sending in and sharing photos on social media to show an object that reminded them of 'their generation'.

We were delighted when First Minister Nicola Sturgeon joined in with Learning Disability Week 2018 and shared her own treasured object as part of a 'Show and Tell' with a small group of people with learning disabilities in Glasgow.

The tweet sharing the First Minister's 'Show and Tell' earned over 46,000 Impressions on Twitter!


We distributed 323 'Get Involved' packs across Scotland.

Over 30 events took place in communities up and down the country as part of Learning Disability Week 2018.

We earned over 119,000 Twitter Impressions during the week.

Learning Disability Awards 2018

176 award nominations received.

£23,000 was received in sponsorship from third and private sector organisations.

Over 280 guests attended on the night

Including Jeane Freeman MSP, Minister for Social Security.

Finalists from 13 different Local Authority Areas

Videos telling the stories of the Learning Disability Award finalists were viewed over 1,000 times during the week of the Awards!

Employment TASK Group Report

The SCLD Employment TASK Group report was launched at a roundtable event where the Minister for Business Fair Work and Skills, Jamie Hepburn, met with people with learning disabilities who have secured employment, and the job coaches that supported them to find and remain in their jobs.

In 2016, a scoping study found that the employability rate for people with learning disabilities was only 7%, compared to over 74% for the general population and 45% for all disabled people.

The SCLD Employment TASK Group was formed to consider the findings and make recommendations to Scottish Government Ministers about what is needed to address this problem.

The report detailing the TASK Group's recommendations can be read below:

Find out more about how job coaches and supported employment helps people with learning disabilities in accessing and maintaining employment by watching our short video:

Supporting Families

We have ensured the needs of parents with learning disabilities are being considered in five key policy areas:

  • The National Guidance for Child Protection
  • Children's Services Planning
  • Reviews relating to the criminalisation of neglect
  • Reviews relating to family justice

We have engaged with key stakeholders to ensure the needs of parents with learning disabilities were recognised in key research reports and in practice, through the Parenting TASK Group and the Working Together with Parents Network.

SCLD is committed to finding new and better ways to improve the lives of people with learning disabilities

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Created By
Libby Clement


Peter Devlin Photography