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An illustration of 6 different disabled people, holding purple banners which reads 'Equality Now!'
‘Covid has created a lot more disabled people – through mental health struggles, lack of mobility, resources, healthcare… and we have we been the hardest hit. Why? Because changes we’ve been demanding for 20 years or more have all been ignored. And we are still asking.’ – Lilian, GDA member

With 3 weeks until the Holyrood election, GDA members gathered on zoom to plan for our Hustings next Tuesday: sharing experiences and concerns which reinforce the urgency of each of our manifesto asks.

But for disabled people’s health and social care the stakes have never been higher. 

13 months of pandemic have pushed our services – and society – to a critical juncture, and Covid has shown beyond doubt that inequality kills. As one member put it:

“We are dying from Covid, and we are dying from system failures, from DNARs, from delays and cuts to vital care and support. Disabled people have been failed at every turn – it can’t go on. We need action, accountability and change. We needed it years ago.” – Harley, GDA member

GDA members are eager to hear what actions candidates will take, if elected, to ensure our Health and Social Care Services are fully equipped – with the resources and lived experience expertise they need – to play their vital role in tackling inequality and upholding Human Rights.

We call on all Holyrood candidates to commit to our manifesto pledges:

illustration of a disabled person and a health worker holding their hand.

Manifesto for Equality pledge #2:

Deliver Health and Social Care which uphold rights and equality

Disabled people’s lived experience tells us how this can be achieved:
Urgently fast track disabled people’s access to vital public services cut or reduced during COVID19: especially mental health support, social care, housing supports, and all healthcare

Scrap care tax and re-open the Independent Living Fund to help urgently address disabled people’s poverty and unmet social care needs.

Resource and co-design a National Social Care System that actively supports human rights, and embeds accountability and participation in decision making including at highest levels of budget setting. Appoint a Minister for Social Care.

Embed the Right to an Adequate Home into health and social care planning, to support and harness the vital role housing plays in tackling inequality and enabling health, wellbeing and independent living.

Cultivate a ‘No Wrong Door’ approach across health, social care, housing and other public services with leadership to drive culture change: build flexible, adaptable, connected services with people at the centre. Increase advocacy / community connector provision to help remove barriers and improve pathways.

This election and the months that follow will be the ultimate test of democracy: can the sharpest lessons and losses from Covid give rise to the change we need, to build a fairer more equal Scotland?

Disabled people’s lived experience shows plain as day: embedding our participation in how we plan, deliver and fund our Health and Social Care services is the only way to ensure that when the next crisis hits, those who need support are never again left behind. 

GDA’s Manifesto, shaped by the voices of 6000 disabled people, offers a crucial roadmap to accelerate Scotland’s journey towards Equality and Human Rights.  Read the 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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