The Member’s Bill to establish a Disability Commissioner for Scotland was introduced in the Scottish Parliament yesterday.
This is a milestone mark in the journey to have a dedicated champion of disability rights in our country.
The Disability Commissioner is envisioned to have a wide-ranging role including to:-
- Promote awareness and understanding of the rights of disabled people
- Review law, policy, and practice relating to the rights of disabled people
- Involve disabled people and disabled peoples organisations in the work of the Commissioner.
- Advocate for disabled people at a national level
- Promote best practice by service providers
- Promote, undertake, commission, and publish research on matters relating to disabled people
- Power to undertake investigations into issues that relate to disabled people and/or a disabled person
- Be independent of the Scottish Government and report to the Scottish Parliament
- Have regard to the importance of communicating in an inclusive way
Now that this Bill has been introduced to the Scottish Parliament, it will follow the same procedure as a Government Bill.
The first step, in the 3-step process, is the Bill will be allocated to one of the Scottish Parliament Committees to allow for a detailed examination of the Bill’s contents and hear from experts, organisations, and members of the public.
The Committee will put out a call for views as part of this process.
A big thank you to Jeremy Balfour MSP for putting this Members Bill forward and to everyone who has supported and informed this bill when it was first proposed in 2022.