Learning Disability Lived Experience Board – An update

Web AdminBlog, SCLD Publication

As we have seen recently during this month’s Co-Production Week Scotland, coproduction is increasingly used when designing and delivering care services. So, could it also be used when it comes to making decisions on government policies and law?

When decisions have life changing impacts for people, it’s essential that decision-making processes involve the people they impact, especially when these decisions have the power to make human rights real.

What is ‘coproduction’?

Coproduction is a way of making decisions that allows people with with lived experience to have an equal relationship when designing activities, projects, or services.

The new Human Rights Bill for Scotland has taken valuable steps forward in its inclusion of people with lived experience in the bill creation process. Although we still have a long way to go before policy and law at government level is truly coproduced, the invaluable input of groups such as the SCLD Human Rights Lived Experience Board show that meaningful engagement between lived experience groups and decision-makers can make a big difference.

The SCLD Human Rights Lived Experience Board has been responding to the ongoing Human Rights Bill process by giving the Scottish Government their opinions and ideas on how to make the Bill work for people with learning disabilities. Their lived experiences and knowledge have been vital in making clear to the Scottish government the real-life impact that laws and policies have on people with learning disabilities.

An example of this is the most recent lived experience board meeting with a Scottish government Bill team representative.

The meeting was an interesting exchange of knowledge and ideas about the Human Rights Bill Consultation process. The bill team representative explained to the group how the Scottish Government ran the consultation and how they engaged with key stakeholder groups, as well as some of the challenges they faced along the way. The group then highlighted their own experiences of the consultation and offered constructive criticism and solutions for future consultations and government-stakeholder engagement.

A board member’s perspective

Lindsay Kinloch, a member of SCLDs Human Rights Lived Experience Board shares her thoughts on the meeting.

Lindsay says: “I found my experience both exciting and confusing. The exciting part is being able to influence a bill process, while the confusing part was learning about the difficult language. The thing I found most helpful was the vast mix of knowledge that everyone in the group had.

It is extremely important for people with learning disabilities and people with other lifelong disabilities to have more knowledge about the processes the Scottish and UK Governments use to make important decisions. This means that we can tell the Government what is working well or what needs to change.”

Lindsay also has some ideas on how the Scottish Government could further its engagement and knowledge sharing.

“People with a learning disability and other lifelong disabilities could be supported more through disability organisations and appropriate people at the government level, to access opportunities to be on government bill lived experience boards. There should be more support to access these opportunities.

The Scottish Government could also help support learning about political decision-making in schools, and could tell people how to be more involved in the political process, by having information available in accessible formats. They could also develop reading materials on these subjects for children and young people.

Photo of Lindsay

Lindsay Kinloch

I think a lot of people would want to learn more about how the Scottish and UK governments work and how they make decisions on laws and policies. This would also help people with learning disabilities and other lifelong disabilities to build more trust in the government.

If the whole bill and law process was more accessible a lot of people would want to learn more and perhaps this would reduce the crime rate also.

It is absolutely crucial that we are included and are not left aside from the processes that impact our lives. Involving people with learning disabilities and other lifelong disabilities will be of huge benefit to everyone and this creates a massive step towards equality.Lindsay Kinloch, Learning Disability Lived Experience Board Member.

We look forward to keeping you updated on the work of the Learning Disability Lived Experience Board in 2024.