Membership Spotlight – Scottish Commission for People with Learning Disabilities (SCLD)

Following on from Scottish Learning Disability Week (10-16 May), we are delighted to use our Membership Spotlight to highlight the work of The Scottish Commission for People with Learning Disabilities (SCLD).

Tell us about the work of SCLD?

The Scottish Commission for People with Learning Disabilities (SCLD) is a national intermediary organisation for the learning disability sector in Scotland. We work closely with the Scottish Government as a delivery partner in the implementation of The keys to life, Scotland’s learning disability strategy. 

SCLD works for and with people with learning disabilities, aiming to create an environment in Scotland in which systems and culture ensure that people with learning disabilities are empowered to live the life they want in line with existing human rights conventions. 

 We work with a core group of stakeholders, including: 

  • People with learning disabilities
  • Parents, carers and families
  • The Scottish Government
  • Health and Social Care Partnerships
  • Local Authorities
  • Organisations in the Voluntary and Independent Sector
  • Professional and regulatory bodies

We engage with our stakeholders on key policy areas, such as housing and employment, to ensure the views of people with learning disabilities and those who support them are reflected in policy and legislation.

SCLD holds regular events, both live and online, covering important topics like employment, relationships and transitions.    

What projects are you currently working on?

Covid 19

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic we have been working to produce resources for people with learning disabilities and those who support them. We have compiled a Google Drive resource bank which includes Easy Read information, activities and more.

We have also been collaborating with the University of Glasgow to create and distribute some ‘COVID-19 Guided Self-help Resources’ to help support people with learning disabilities, their families and supporters through lockdown. The resources are free to download from the SCLD website and print copies are available to order for those living in Scotland. Find out more here.

Recently SCLD has also been working with key partners to ensure that all people with learning disabilities are prioritised in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. Read more about our work on this on our website.

SCLD been involved with a UK-wide UK Research and Innovation study into the experiences of the pandemic amongst people with learning disabilities and their supporters. The research will focus on the well-being, health and social impacts of the pandemic, and how to achieve better outcomes for people. SCLD is helping to recruit participants for the Scottish contingent of the study. Find out more about how you can get involve here

Human Rights

Working to uphold and realise the human rights of people with learning disabilities is a key part of our work. SCLD recently wrote a Position Statement on incorporating the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities into Scots law which was supported by over 50 organisations.

We are also working around the Independent Human Rights Act Review (IHRA) and have submitted evidence to the Review on the key human rights issues facing people with learning disabilities in Scotland, such as the use of restraint and seclusion, detention and non-consensual treatment. 


We work with individuals and groups to build leadership capacity and work towards more participation of people with learning disabilities in civic life. We are currently working with Inspiring Scotland on a leadership programme for people with learning disabilities.

Scottish Learning Disability week

SCLD coordinates Scottish Learning Disability Week, which takes place annually in May. The Week is a chance to raise awareness of key issues affecting people with a learning disability. The theme was ‘Relationships’ – celebrating the importance of having other people in our lives; read our blog about this year’s highlights, or search ‘#LDWeekScot2021’ on our social media to see all the content from the week.

How do you support children and families to learn about their rights?

One current piece of work is to produce an app called Human Rights Town and a working group of young people were absolutely central to its development. The app allows children and young people to learn what their rights are and how they apply in the place where they live

How does SCLD influence policy development on issues affecting children and young people?

SCLD works to ensure the views of children and young people with learning disabilities are represented in issues and policy that affects their lives. Recently we made a submission to the Consultation on the Revised National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland.

Through SCLD, a group of young people with learning disabilities met with MSPs from the Equalities and Human Rights Committee to talk to them about their experiences as part of the consultation process on the UNCRC Incorporation (Scotland) Bill.

What do you enjoy most about being a member of Together?

Together gives SCLD a chance to network with a wide range of organisations and individuals who are committed to realising the ambitions set out in the UNCRC. Together’s network gives us the opportunity to influence the change that needs to happen so the rights of children and young people with learning disabilities are recognised and realised.

How can other organisations or individuals get involved or support your work?

SCLD works across a wide range of key issues which affect the lives of people with learning disabilities. Get involved with SCLD by joining one of our networks:

Get in touch with SCLD directly by emailing or phoning us on 0141 248 3733. You can also visit our website: 

Keep up to date

Sign up to our monthly eFocus newsletter and find us on social media: 

And something a bit silly to end – If SCLD was an animal what would it be and why?

We would be a… beaver – we might be small but we like to keep ourselves busy building the foundations for people with learning disabilities to live full, safe, loving and equal lives.

Image of a beaver on a log in the river
Photo by David Ohboy on

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