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In less than 4 weeks Scotland’s voters decide who will steer the country through the ongoing challenges of the Covid pandemic, and lead the charge against the devastating inequalities supercharged by the Covid crisis of the past 12 months.

The evidence is staggering: disabled people have fared far worse during this crisis, as existing barriers, austerity, poverty and inequalities eroded our resilience; and responses repeatedly overlooked our needs and left us behind.

Disabled people and our organisations have been striving to be part of society, and part of decision making, for decades – the dire toll on disabled people over the past 12 months shows starkly that changes we have been urging year on year are now long overdue.

On 20th April, thanks to investment from Connecting Scotland and the National Lottery Community Fund, GDA will support hundreds of disabled people to attend our Online Hustings event and quiz the candidates on how they plan to advance our equality, and improve disabled people’s lives, if elected. 

Over 6000 disabled people contributed their lived experience to shape our 2021 Manifesto for Equality Now, urging all parties to pledge urgent actions in the next Holyrood term, to supercharge disabled people’s voices and tackle widening inequality faced by Scotland’s one million disabled people.

Over the next 4 weeks we will highlight each area of our Manifesto asks, keeping up the pressure to ensure disabled people’s voices are heard at this crucial time.

Manifesto for Equality pledge #1: Overhaul Equalities and Human Rights infrastructure

To close the gap between promise and practice, we call on all parties to pledge to:

Incorporate UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled People (UNCRPD) and all our rights into Scots Law: including rights to housing, social care, independent living and participation.

Establish an Office of the Disability Commissioner and a well-resourced Disability Law Centreto empower disabled people to claim their rights and seek redress when they are not upheld.

Invest in Funding for Disabled people led organisations to build capacity and collective voice for disabled people to play an active role in the system change needed to make rights real and build a Fairer Scotland.

Strengthen the Public Sector Equality Duty: embed accessibility and inclusion criteria in all public spend, with a reporting framework co-designed with and monitored by disabled people.

Each of our calls to action will only be successful if delivered in partnership with disabled people themselves, building in lived experience expertise to all policy, plans and decision making.

Our Manifesto, shaped by disabled people, offers a crucial roadmap to accelerate Scotland’s journey towards Equality and Human Rights.
We call for urgent action to build grassroots participation in to how we run our society – because COVID has shown beyond doubt that we can no longer afford not to. 

You can read our full manifesto here. Get involved by sharing it on social or forward to your candidates, to help amplify disabled people’s calls to action. Thank you!

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