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Disabled people

Disabled people should have freedom, dignity, choice and control over their lives. We want to remove the barriers that stop people from enjoying equal access to full citizenship.

In Scotland, responsibility for issues that affect disabled people are split between issues reserved to the UK Government, and areas that we are responsible for.

We are responsible for most public services including: local councils, education, housing, social work and the NHS in Scotland.

The UK Government is responsible for equality legislation including the Equality Act 2010, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), employment, income and benefits.

Draft Delivery Plan

Our UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) Draft Delivery Plan (2016-2020) aims to make equality of opportunity, access to services and independent living a reality for all disabled people in Scotland.

The draft plan is based on four groups of outcomes:

  • environment, transport and housing
  • health, support, and disabled children and young people
  • education, paid employment and income
  • justice

These outcomes were developed with and agreed by:

  • disabled people's organisations
  • disability organisations
  • the Equality and Human Rights Commission
  • Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA)
  • Scottish Human Rights Commission (SHRC)


The plan's commitments include:

  • a national plan for accessible travel
  • an awareness-raising campaign on the barriers disabled people face
  • a review of the Adults with Incapacity legislation
  • increasing the take up of modern apprenticeships by disabled people
  • a new social security system that treats disabled people with dignity
  • more work to address disability hate crime and violence against disabled women and girls


A consultation on the draft UNCRPD delivery plan was launched in September 2015 and closed in January 2016.

We are analysing the responses to the draft UNCRPD delivery plan and will use them to strengthen the final version.

Ministerial Advisory Group on Disability

We set up a Ministerial Advisory Group on Disability to help:

  • promote disabled people's equality and human rights at ministerial level
  • develop strong and mutually beneficial relationships between Ministers and disabled people

Disabled People's Summit

Scotland's first Disabled People's Summit took place on the UN's International Day of Disabled People 2015 (3 December).

The summit's theme was 'Getting our Rights Right', and its focus was the commitments outlined in the UNCRPD Draft Delivery Plan. It was attended by 150 disabled people and their supporters.

This summit will be an annual event which will help to identify the themes that the Disabled People's Ministerial Advisory Group will consider.

Funding for disability equality groups

We fund projects that will make a difference in tackling inequality and promoting equality for disabled people.

Details about future funding will be available when it is announced.

Research and publications

Statistics and research evidence on disability are crucial in helping us to identify issues that need to be addressed, provide evidence to support action and find solutions to problems. More information on the range of evidence we use is available on the disability pages of the Scottish Government's Equality evidence finder.


The Scottish Parliament has introduced a variety of legislation to protect the rights and welfare of disabled people in Scotland. This includes: