Learning Disabilities, Autism and Neurodivergence Bill: consultation

Closes 21 Apr 2024

Statutory Strategies for Neurodivergence and Learning Disabilities

The Scottish Government has previously produced national strategies on learning disability and separately on autism.  Following the COVID pandemic, a joint plan produced in partnership with Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) was published covering both learning disabilities and autism – the Towards Transformation Plan.  The Scottish Government continues to work to this plan pending decisions on the shape and content of the Learning Disabilities, Autism and Neurodivergence (LDAN) Bill. 

 Scottish Government strategies are scrutinised by the Scottish Parliament and stakeholders. There is currently no formal or legislative requirement for either national or local strategies specifically for neurodivergent conditions or learning disabilities.   

What can the LDAN Bill do?

The Scottish Government is proposing to take a broad approach covering neurodivergence and learning disabilities.

We recognise that approaches to previous strategies and polices have been single condition focussed even although many people have more than one condition.  Although there will always be a need for some distinct policies according to certain conditions, we think a wider neurodivergent approach is more appropriate in terms of recognising the whole person rather than single conditions and recognising the crossover in the way services and supports are delivered. This includes the workforce delivering them. 

 There should also be a clear recognition that neurodivergent people and people with learning disabilities should be treated equally whatever condition or combination of conditions they have.

Proposal 1: Introduce a requirement for a national strategy on neurodivergence and learning disabilities to be produced by the Scottish Government.

Proposal 2: Introduce a requirement for local strategies to be produced by some public bodies, for example health and social care partnerships, local authorities, and other public bodies.

Proposal 3: Introduce guidance that could cover a range of topics to be included in national and local strategies.

Proposal 4: Ensure that there is a requirement to review strategies, for example every 5 years for example.

Proposal 5: Ensure that people with lived experience have to be involved in the development of the strategies.

Proposal 6: Consider whether any new accountability mechanism introduced by the Bill should have a duty to review national and/or local strategies and their effectiveness.

Please tell us what you think.

Related information

Consultation Questions

The questions in this document refer to information contained in our consultation document and various alternative formats which can all be found here

You need only answer questions in the sections most relevant to you.

Which of these proposals do you agree with (if any), please tell us why?
Which of these proposals do you not agree with (if any), please tell us why?
Is there anything else that we should consider in relation to strategies?