Help put an end to prejudice

Peter Scott

The Scottish government's The same as you? 2000-2012: Consultation Report reveals that although there have been positive changes to the lives of people who have a learning disability over the past 12 years, there is still along way to go.

One of the issues highlighted in the report is bullying of people with learning disabilities, with the majority of those interviewed stating that the incidents happened at school.

Bullying and hate crime are major issues for our members and for many these incidents started at school and continue into adulthood. In May, a study for Scotland's Commissioner for Children and Young People highlighted that bullying of children who have a disability remains prevalent and acts as a major barrier to their social inclusion.

On 18 June, to coincide with Learning Disability Week, ENABLE Scotland, funded by the Scottish government, will launch a three-year anti-bullying project, aimed at school pupils, to help tackle the high instances of bullying of people who have a learning disability. The initiative, entitled Open your Mind Not Your Mouth, will deliver workshops and presentations in schools, facilitated by young people with learning disabilities.

Through the project we also hope to help young people who have a learning disability to recognise bullying and how to best to tackle it. Our work will include an anti-bullying charter, written by young people, to which we hope youngsters will pledge their support. We are also going to be working with community police officers to help them develop further skills and tackle hate crime.

It is possible to break down prejudices and help young people understand the impact of their words and actions. I am certain that this project and the work we will do with young people in schools will reduce these instances of bullying. Anyone who wants to get involved should contact us on 0300 0200 101.

Peter Scott, CEO, ENABLE Scotland.

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