The Scottish Commission for People with Learning Disabilities (SCLD) has launched a new app, ‘Human Rights Town’ designed to empower people with learning disabilities to recognise and realise their human rights.
The development of the app has been led by a group of people with learning disabilities who have been working with SCLD and digital design company, Publishing Bureau, to create the finished product.
The app invites users to travel around a virtual ‘Human Rights Town’ where they encounter different scenarios at each location, such as using public transport or working at the supermarket. Through practical examples ‘Human Rights Town’ introduces users to each of their human rights, under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and asks them to choose whether they believe their rights are being respected or not in each scenario. Users have the option of further explanation at each location. Each scenario has been voiced over by a person with a learning disability who has helped to develop the app.
‘How to download the Human Rights Town app’ Easy Read click here.
Download the app user guide here.
The wider context
SCLD has been working alongside a group of people with learning disabilities, those who support them and Publishing Bureau to co-produce an app to help people with learning disabilities learn about their human rights under The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).
An app like this cannot come at a more important time for people with learning disabilities in Scotland. We know that people with learning disabilities are not always able to realise their human rights. In the worst case, people’s most fundamental rights, such as the right to life, can be compromised; as has been demonstrated by disproportionately high deaths rates during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing breaches of human rights for people with learning disabilities like being denied justice and liberty, being excluded from citizenship and at times forced to live their lives separate from other parts of society.
The National Taskforce for Human Rights Leadership recommended in March 2021 that the UNCRPD should be incorporated into Scottish Law. This followed a call from disabled people, including people with learning disabilities and organisations who work alongside them to incorporate the UNCRPD.
This will mean for the first time in Scotland people with learning disabilities will have their human rights enshrined in law. But following incorporation one big question will remain, how do we make human rights real for people with learning disabilities in their communities?
This will mean for the first time in Scotland people with learning disabilities will have their human rights enshrined in law
SCLD believes that one of the first ways we can do this is by supporting people with learning disabilities to recognise their human rights under the UNCRPD, so they are empowered to stand up for their rights and advocate for the change they want to see.
We hope that this app will help to empower people with learning disabilities and we look forward to seeing the positive change incorporation of the UNCRPD can bring in Scotland.