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ENABLE ambassadors in Parliament- blog by Lucy McKee & Heather Gilchrist

Hetaher In Chamber Copy

A blog by Lucy McKee & Heather Gilchrist , ENABLE Scotland’s Membership Ambassadors, about their week in parliament - Meeting MSPs from across Scotland, sharing information about their push for a Learning Disability Bill and discussing the important work of ENABLE Scotland members.

This week, we spent 3 days in the Scottish Parliament meeting with MSP’s from all the political parties and from across Scotland.

ENABLE Scotland were given the chance by Paul O’Kane MSP, Convener of the Cross-Party Group on Learning Disability, to have an exhibition stand inside parliament – right beside the debating chamber! It was a great spot, with so many MSPs stopping to talk to us about ENABLE. Thanks to Paul and his office for supporting us to make this happen.

We were representing all our ENABLE members, from ACE, Scottish Council and Family Connect and it was great to meet MSPs and share with them the work that the ENABLE members we represent do in their areas.

Our stand was a visual representation of all the elements our members tell us need to be in place for people with learning disabilities to live good, meaningful and enjoyable lives in the home they want, in the community they choose and close to the people they love:

  • Education
  • Transitions
  • Employment
  • Social Care

All these things need to be in place, and be excellent quality, led by the people who they are aiming to support for someone to live the life that they want to. It’s My Life, My Rights!

We told them about our ACE groups and reminded them of our history of campaigning.

We also talked to them about our most recent campaigns, and our push for a Learning Disability, Autism and Neurodiversity Bill that the government have now promised. We told them how important it is that people with learning disabilities in Scotland have their rights upheld by the new Bill, and how our members have been asking for a Commissioner to be put in place to make sure that the rights they have are respected, acted on, and cannot be taken away.

It was great that so many MSP’s stopped to talk with us. We spoke to 80 MSPs over the last few days, and you might have seen the huge number of photos we shared on Twitter! It was so busy! All of the party leaders came to visit our exhibition, and we thank them all for taking the time to do so.

Heather even got to visit the chamber.

We provided everyone that came to see us with important information about the new Bill and with statistics about learning disability in their constituencies and regions.

We are honoured to be able to represent all of our ENABLE members and supporters, and we look forward to the day when Scotland has an equal society for every person with a learning disability!