In the first 3 months of 2022, Learning Disability Wales responded to 9 different consultations on a range of topics. You can find all our policy work on our policy page. We want Wales to be the best country in the world for people with a learning disability to live, learn and work. Our consultation responses are part of this work where we tell the UK and Welsh governments what we think of plans they have made to change their policies.
1. Learning Disability Strategic Action Plan 2021-26
Welsh Government has created a new Learning Disability Strategic Action Plan for 2021 to 2026. We gathered responses from our members and also submitted our own response. We believe that the plan includes important goals but would like to see more accountability and more detailed outcomes specified within the plan.
Our response was submitted to Welsh Government (along with the responses from individuals and organisations that we gathered) on 28 February 2022. You can read our response here (opens as PDF).
2. Human Rights Act Reform
The UK Government is planning to reform the Human Rights Act. These reforms include making it more difficult to bring a case to court, limiting how much compensation some people can receive when their human rights have been violated, and making it easier to deport people. We oppose these reforms as we believe they will be very bad for people with a learning disability in Wales.
This response was submitted to the UK Ministry of Justice on 7 March 2022. You can read the whole response here.
3. Electoral Commission: Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy
The UK Electoral Commission consulted on how to improve the inclusivity of elections, both for candidates and voters. We responded saying that we think it is good that these efforts are being made but that we would have liked to see more research on why some groups of people struggle to take part in democracy and more commitment to reaching out to marginalised communities.
The response was submitted to the UK Electoral Commission on 14 February 2022.You can read the whole response here.(open as Word File).
4. Period dignity
Welsh Government consulted on their plans to end stigma and shame around periods. We responded that we strongly support these plans and are particularly happy to see a strong focus on disability in this proposal. We would welcome more acknowledgment of the needs of people with a learning disability who have periods specifically.
Our response was submitted to Welsh Government on 25 March 2022. You can read the whole response here (opens in Word).
5. Conversion Therapy
UK Government wants to ban conversion therapy for some groups in the UK. Conversion therapy means therapy that tries to make LGBTQ+ people heterosexual or ‘straight’. We said that we think it is important to ban conversion therapy and we think it is bad that the plan does not ban all forms of conversion therapy but allows it in some circumstances.
We submitted our response with Mencap Cymru, All Wales People First and Supported Loving on 10 December 2021. You can read the whole response here (opens as PDF).
We are also currently working on a statement about UK Government’s plan to not ban conversion therapy for transgender people.
6. Mental health inequality
The Health and Social Care Committee asked for evidence on mental health inequalities in Wales. We responded that we believe that people with a learning disability are likely to struggle with their mental health because they have a harder time getting any kind of health care, they tend to be poorer than other people in Wales and are far less likely to be in paid employment. We urgently need better specialist mental health support for people with a learning disability in Wales as well as to tackle the root causes of bad mental health.
We submitted our response to the Health and Social Care Committee on 24 February 2022. You can read our whole response here (opens as PDF).
7. Violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence (VAWDASV) National Strategy
We submitted a response to this Welsh Government consultation. We thought that it was good to have a policy that centres around prevention like this one, but we would have liked to have seen more support for victims in this proposal. We would also like to see more accountability for institutions to deal with gendered violence and complaints.
We submitted our response to Welsh Government on 7 February 2022. You can read the whole response here (opens in PDF)
8. Regional Shared Apprenticeships Scheme
We submitted a consultation response to Welsh Government as part of the Engage to Change project. We are strongly in support of this scheme and happy to see it applied to new areas. You can read the whole response here (opens in PDF).
9. Disability Workforce Reporting
The UK Government wanted to know how best to measure how many disabled people work in large companies. We responded to this consultation saying that we thought it was important to measure this but that it is also important to realise it may seem that there are more disabled people in a workplace because more people are getting diagnosed while people with higher support needs may still struggle to find employment.
We submitted out response on 24 March 2022 to the Disability Unit, Cabinet Office. You can read our whole response here (opens in PDF).