Glasgow Disability Alliance

COVID-19: We have adapted what we do and how we work during the current pandemic. Read more about GDA’s COVID-response

Front page of the manifesto with GDA's logo in one corner and an illustrated group of people in the other holding a sign saying equality now

Act Now to supercharge disabled people’s voices

Glasgow Disability Alliance today launch our 2021 Manifesto, calling on Scotland’s political 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.

Run by and for its 5000 disabled members, GDA cites mounting evidence that disabled people are being left even further behind, as the COVID-19 pandemic takes a gruelling toll on those who were already worst off. The manifesto is drawn from in-depth engagement with over 6000 disabled people since the first lockdown began last March.

CEO Tressa Burke said: “Poverty, cuts to vital services, spiralling unemployment and acute isolation are among the worst impacts hitting disabled people hardest, and eroding basic rights since long before the pandemic: we are calling for a suite of actions urgently needed to halt further regression in rights and equality, and ensure disabled people are never again left behind when crisis hits.”

GDA are calling for actions to embed International Human Rights into Scots’ law, and establish a Disability Commissioner and Disability Law Centre to uphold them. They call for disabled people to have fast-tracked access to vital services cut during COVID; for the creation of a National Care Service built on Human Rights and accountability; and for swift action to boost income and employment prospects for disabled people.

Through each call to action runs a common thread: to work in partnership with disabled people themselves, building in lived experience expertise to all policy, plans and decision making. The Manifesto’s vision is for stronger infrastructure to support and drive forwards Equality, Human Rights, and grassroots participation in how our services and society are run.

GDA founding member Susan McGinlay said

“Disabled people are an asset – the new Scottish Parliament must harness our expertise, and our voices, and take every opportunity to work with us: to remove barriers, to rebuild services in a way that listens and responds to the acute and changing needs of those most vulnerable to COVID-19 and its aftermath.“

Over 5000 disabled people in Glasgow are calling on Holyrood electoral candidates to commit to these five pledges:

1: Overhaul Equalities and Human Rights Infrastructure

  • Incorporate UNCRPD and All Our Rights into Scots Law.
  • Establish Disability Commissioner and Disability Law Centre.
  • Fund Disabled People Led Organisations.
  • Strengthen Public Sector Equality Duty to drive change.
  1. Deliver Health & Social Care that uphold rights & equality
  • Fast-track access to COVID-hit services.
  • Scrap Care Tax and Re-open the Independent Living Fund.
  • Co-design a National Care Service with rights and participation built in, accountable to a new Minister for Social Care.
  • Embed the Right to Housing in health and social care planning.
  • Cultivate a No Wrong Door approach to remove barriers.
  1. Tackle Disability Poverty and Employment Gap
  • Co-design actions, targets, accessible supports to halve employment gap.
  • Uprate and improve disability benefits.
  • Create disability-specific Child poverty actions.
  • Take urgent action on inequality for young disabled people in education, work and training.
  1. Invest in Social Connections & Empowered Communities
  • Invest in inclusive, holistic community supports.
  • Equality-proof place-based approaches.
  • Eradicate digital exclusion and Hate Crime.
  1. Co-design an Equal Scotland: embed lived experience
  • Embed and measure rights to participate.
  • Co-design emergency resilience plans.
  • Embed Human Rights and Equality focus for all local participation.
  • Shift power by empowering frontline workers to meaningfully co-design and improve outcomes.

You can read the full manifesto here


Registered Scottish Charity number SC034247 Private Limited Company number SC248467