Introducing SCLD Rapporteurs!

Introducing SCLD Rapporteurs!

In the centre, SCLD Rapporteur John, and to his right SCLD Rapporteur Dylan.

We spoke to get2gether members, and new SCLD rapporteurs: Sandy, Dylan, John and Fiona! We chatted to them about their new role, how they discovered the position, what they wish to achieve in their role, human rights & more! A huge congratulations to all the new SCLD Rapporteurs, we’re excited to watch their journey as they help SCLD and the Scottish government to instigate social change for people with disabilities.

1. How did you find out about the rapporteur role?

Sandy: I had already been doing lots of pieces of work with SCLD through the first lockdown. I attended all the different workshops and working with the government because people with learning disabilities were getting left behind during the pandemic. SCLD set up a page called ‘Stay in touch’ and I’d been involved with that by invitation through Facebook and through that it grew for me. SCLD reached out to me to ask if I would like to apply to be on their board in a paid position. I helped SCLD shape the rapporteur role. This is the type of work I’ve always been looking for.

Dylan: I found out about it from get2gether during a staff meeting we had back in November.

John: SCLD approached me to ask if I’d be interested in applying. Nothing was getting done by the government about human rights for people with learning disabilities. So SCLD decided to hire rapporteurs that have lived experience of disabilities, so we can get the job done quick, and hold councilors and the government accountable.

Fiona: In 2021, in July, I was a trusted advisor and we were going through a journey. This journey was leading to be Rapporteurs. It was going through the journey that I was learning to become a Rapporteur. This is a new job through SCLD and something that I would be good at. Helping people with disabilities and learning disabilities is my passion, my dream. Becoming a Rapporteur means the world to me and for me to challenge myself even more. Life and change is all in me and full of great experiences and opportunities.

2. What does a rapporteur do?

Sandy: It’s part of the ‘Include For Good’ programme which was launched during SCLD Learning Disability week. We work to try and help politicians on what we’ve found out from people with disabilities and feed that back to them so they can make changes. They have at least 6 months to try and get the barrier lifted, like employment, doctors etc. We’re going to be holding people in high positions to account. 

Dylan: We found out about the type of issues learning disabled people are facing in society and report back to SCLD on those issues. We all try to figure out solutions for them. We will have two meetings every month where we come together and discuss what we’ve found out in our rapporteur jobs and the types of problems learning disabled people are facing in society. We all try and come up with ways in which we can make life easier for learning disabled people in Scotland.

John: We’re like reporters. We report what needs to change for Scotland for the better for people with disabilities. We’re going to be speaking to lots of groups of people with disabilities to find out what issues they want raised and changes they want to happen in Scotland. We’ll also be speaking to disability organisations and people living in supported houses too. Anyone who has shared experience we want to ask what they want to happen and to change. 

Fiona: A Rapporteur is like a reporter and finding out issues and changes for people with learning disabilities and making them happen in Scotland. We are decision makers and we will talk to Scottish Government and important politicians. We will be leading Include for Good, a program of change. We are going to make change happen for Scotland, to make Scotland a better place for people with disabilities and learning disabilities. We all have to have a good background of Human Rights and letting our voices to be heard.

Pictured above, SCLD Rapporteur, Sandy.

3. What do you want to achieve as a rapporteur over the next two years?

Sandy: For people with disabilities to have a voice. The more people that come onto this programme, the better. 

Dylan: The same goal as all the other rapporteurs, I’d imagine. I want to make Scotland fairer for learning disabled people. As I know all too well how unjust our society can be towards people with learning disabilities.

John: That we’ve done the job that we wanted. Making sure that people are happy now and happy that we’ve sorted it out for yous. We want positive outcomes from it. If people are pleased with the improvements we’ve made and that we’ve changed attitudes as well. 

Fiona: Making lives better for people with learning disabilities and we have a lot to do, for changing Scotland. Changes are very important for all of us and we need to make it better for everyone, making Scotland a better place. We will make change happen for the future.

4. Why are human rights important to you?

Sandy: Everyone has human rights. SCLD has launched a ‘Human Rights Town’ app. I didn’t realise until I got involved with helping develop the app some of the human rights that I haven’t met. Like the employment barriers, getting to an interview stage but never having them get back to me with an answer.

Dylan: It’s something that each and every one of us has, and shouldn’t be taken away from us, but unfortunately this does happen – particularly to people with learning disabilities and it just isn’t good enough. This is why SCLD has launched the ‘Include For Good’ programme, they want to make Scotland a fairer place for people with learning disabilities, we want to stamp out the discrimination towards learning disabled people in Scotland. If this programme proves successful then there’s a possibility we can expand worldwide, because it’s such a huge issue across the whole world. It’s one of the biggest stigmas in modern society today and it really shouldn’t be in 2022.

John: Because we’re human beings and we deserve to have the choices we want in life. Life is all about choices and having control. It’s having that voice and getting people included – that’s so important because you cannot exclude people. Everyone should have a choice in what they want to do and achieve. Everyone should be included and supported in that.

Fiona: We all have Human Rights, it’s there for a purpose, it’s there to protect us. Our lives are important to us. I feel that people that have learning disabilities, human rights are not being met. It’s important for all people that have disabilities to have a voice and to be heard. We should not be faced with discrimination and we do not tolerate this. I personally feel very strongly for Human Rights and I stand for Human Rights. For us people with disabilities, we do care. We want our freedom.

Pictured above, SCLD Rapporteur, Fiona.

5. What would you like get2gether members to know about SCLD and rapporteurs?

Sandy: For get2gether members to know that SCLD isn’t just about workshops and ticking boxes. We want people with disabilities to get answers to their questions and we aren’t going to take any more ‘no’s’ from the government. I want everyone with a learning disability out there to know that this is a safe place for them to come to, both SCLD and our ‘Include for Good’ programme.

Dylan: That get2gether members, and other people with learning disabilities can reach out to us and ask for advice on issues they’re facing. We’re looking for allies to help us on our mission to stamp out discrimination for people with learning disabilities too.

John: That SCLD are a fantastic organisation. Everybody is so friendly and they’re just like a working family to me, which is really important because you need to have a good working relationship with people you work with. I’ve done all sorts of things with them, events, presentations, Learning Disability week. It’s such a privilege to be a part of the SCLD team now. 

Fiona: I’ve known SCLD since 2017 and this organisation has been great towards me, they supported me and helped me so much. Please look up on SCLD social media and website for more information. Check out our Include for Good website, it’s Click on the link which says ‘Meet the Rapporteurs’ and get to know us and listen to our videos. Please follow us as much as you can. We are here to help all of you. We will make things happen and we will do it together as a team, a team of 10 Rapporteurs. We will do it for Scotland and for every organisation. For all of you, we all have voices and we need to be heard. For disabilities and learning disabilities, we do care. Thank you.

Have a story worth telling? A passion you wish to share? Email for a chance to be featured on our blog.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *