Scotland’s treatment of disabled citizens is improving

Much remains to be done, of course, but there is evidence of progress in Scotland’s Wellbeing: national outcomes for disabled people, published yesterday. Here are extracts:


In the longer term, evidence suggests that the incidence of crime among disabled people has decreased. Research from the EHRC based on the SCJS, found that in the 2008/09 – 2010/11 period disabled people were less likely to be victims of crime. During this period, they report that 19.5% of non-disabled people were victims of crime, compared to 17.6% of disabled people. By comparison, in 2012/13, there was almost no difference between the number of disabled and non-disabled people experiencing crime. (28)


This graph suggests a modest but significant increase in the number of adults with disabilities attending cultural events or places in only four years.

Cultural Economy:

The Screen Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion Survey25, carried out by Creative Scotland and published in 2016, asked over 500 individuals working in film and TV in Scotland about their experiences and perceived barriers to progression. This survey found that 24% of the respondents stated that they had a disability or long-term health condition, compared to 19% of the national working age population. (36)


The above graph shows a significantly falling number of disabled adults with no qualifications and a narrowing of the gap.

Further we see a 25% increase in the number of disabled people in HE:

At Scottish Higher Education providers, participation in Higher Education by disabled people increased from 2013/14 to 2017/18. The numbers increased from 21,475 disabled students in 2013/14 to 30,500 disabled students in 2017/18 (see Figure 6.6). The overall percentage of disabled students in the student body has increased from 9% in 2013/14 to 12% in 2017/18. (44)

Visits to the Outdoors:

The SHS provides data on how often individuals visit the outdoors. Among disabled people, 40% visited the outdoors at least once a week in 2017. This has increased from 33% in 2013. (47)

Employee Voice:

A higher proportion of disabled people are covered by collective bargaining agreements, when compared to non-disabled people. In 2018, 40% of disabled people in Scotland reported that their pay and conditions are affected by agreements between trade unions and their employer, compared with 36% of non-disabled people. (50)


The percentage of households with a disabled member experiencing unmanageable debt has fallen significantly in four years to almost close the gap with other families.

Further evidence has recently been published here, including:

Commendable improvement in processing of disabled student allowances in Scotland disappoints someone?

June 4, 2019

From a Scottish Government Freedom of Information response (requested by which opposition MSP?) published yesterday, we can see both a dramatic rise in the number of applications processed within only 21 days and yet an equally dramatic fall in…

Scotland’s continuing efforts to improve the lives of disabled

December 12, 2018

The Scottish government’s action plan announced yesterday, includes: Up to £1 million to develop solutions to the barriers employers face in hiring and retaining disabled people Up to £500,000 to pilot the provision of support similar to Access…

Abuse of women and the disabled far higher in England than in Scotland

October 25, 2018

As I work on a larger post on the Equality and Human Rights Commission report which has been already covered in full negativity for Scotland, by our Nomedia, I came across these startling graphs on pages 138 and 139. Violence…

Big improvements revealed in Scotland’s colleges especially for the disabled, the most deprived and for minorities

January 30, 2018

Based on the latest figures for 2016-17 published by Scottish Funding Council, Scotland’s Further Education college sector has delivered across a range of indicators which show that they are fulfilling their essential role in providing meaningful access to the disabled,…

NHS England outperforms NHS Scotland……in making huge profits (>£120 million!) from car parking including that from disabled patients. SNP Government abolished charges in all but three, where they could not do so, in 2008

December 28, 2017

All English hospital trusts charge staff and patients for car parking. Around half of them charge disabled people for parking in disabled spaces. Only three Private Finance Initiative hospital car parks in Scotland at Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee…

Scottish Government to fight alongside UN to defend disabled against Tory cuts.

October 30, 2017

The UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has written a damning report attacking the UK government’s plans to introduce its Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and called on them to repeal it and to ensure protection and security…

SNP to bring in free personal care for disabled under-65s by April 2019

September 10, 2017

There’s only one problem and that’s the possibility that the nasty Tories will cut disability benefits before they are transferred to the Scottish government and thus limit what they can do. So, according to the site today: ‘Health Secretary…

In the wake of the UN praise for Scotland’s approach to disability rights, NHS Scotland announces traineeships for disabled graduates

September 5, 2017

In a report condemning the UK’s record on disability rights, positive commentary was reserved only for the actions of the Scottish Government: Government More recently, the Scottish Government has allocated of £2.5 million to 13 projects across Scotland designed to…

Only Independence and the SNP’s compassionate policies can save Scotland’s pensioners and disabled people as the Tories slash funding for sheltered housing in England and implement their second bedroom tax.

May 9, 2017

In England, the National Housing Federation has warned that housing associations cannot afford to build new sheltered homes due to new Tory funding rules, the shutting-down of services and the ‘crushing’ of investment. They predict a shortfall of 240 000…


3 thoughts on “Scotland’s treatment of disabled citizens is improving

  1. Alasdair Macdonald August 1, 2019 / 9:38 am

    I agree with you that it is welcome that these data indicate that poorer outcomes and malign experiences for people with disabilities is reducing, but that more requires to be done.

    It seems to me that some of the data – for example those relating to educational qualifications – would be enhanced if they were broken down into 5 or 10 year age cohorts. Since the turn of the century as rights of access to education became statutory and as the institutions were adapted to make them physically accessible. (For example the school to which I was appointed as Head Teacher in 1997 had 9 levels and no lift, which made it very difficult for people with disabilities to access. It has subsequently undergone major refurbishments to improve things, but that took several years to accomplish and this was not die to any lack of will or finance. Overwhelmingly there was support for the changes, which demonstrated a significant change in attitude compared to say 10 years earlier.)

    Thus, all young people can now expect access to education and others who missed out when younger can now take up opportunities previously denied. I suspect that as with, for example, ‘looked after children’, that the attainments/achievements of the younger age cohorts is probably much closer to those of the rest of the population compared to those in the older cohorts.


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