A campaign by leading charities calling for a Commissioner for people with a learning disability and autistic people has received cross-party support by Renfrewshire councillors.A motion proposed by Cllr Jacqueline Cameron called on councillors to support the “Our Voice Our Rights campaign” a partnership by leading Scottish charities, Enable, Scottish Autism and the National Autistic Society Scotland, which aims to make Scotland the best country in the world for people with learning disability or autism. The motion was agreed unanimously at the Full Council board today.

Cllr Cameron said: “I am delighted that the motion has had cross-party agreement. I met with the National Autistic Society Scotland and agreed to give them my backing for their campaign. At national level, there has been really positive cross-party work to make the role of the Commissioner a reality. While there have been very well-intentioned strategies and good practice across
Scotland, the Commissioner would ensure these were implemented and practice was consistent for everyone. The commitment to this role was outlined in the SNP manifesto, so I look forward to seeing this come to fruition.”

The “Our Voice Our Rights” campaign aims to make human rights real for the 175,000 people with a learning disability, the 56,000 autistic people and their families in Scotland. A country where human rights are respected and upheld; everyone has equal access to the services and support they need throughout their lives; and where people with a learning disability and autistic people are active, respected citizens without barriers to fulfil their potential.

Cllr Lisa-Marie Hughes who seconded the motion said: “Accessing services for people with autism and learning disability can be a real struggle for them and for their families, the role of the Commissioner will address these issues and ensure their voices are heard loud and clear by those who can effect change. In Renfrewshire, we have a positive relationship with our learning disabled community and we are undertaking consultation and seeking to see how we can strengthen support for those with autism, but this picture should be reflected nationally.”

The role a Commissioner for Learning Disability and Autism would be the first of its kind in the world and would be established in law to champion the human rights of those with
learning disability and autism.