Scottish Churches Disability Group meet their MSP

The Scottish Churches Disability Group (SCDG) have visited the Scottish Parliament to find out how to make their voices heard in the corridors of power.

SCDG President Angus Morrison and secretary Barbara Graham met MSP Jeremy Balfour, chair of the CPG on Disability, and Layla Theiner from supporting charity Disability Agenda Scotland, as a result of SCPO’s Meet Your MSP project.

The SCDG which represents a wide number of denominations in Scotland had contacted SCPO to find out which MSPs may be sympathetic to their concerns on inequality and disabilities, and the CPG was the ideal place to start.

Both parties talked about common ground and the role of churches in communities – meeting the needs of those in the pews. as well as those in the wider community. The theme of isolation was mooted as one which affects especially the older population and what churches can do and how they can be supported in tackling this.

Disability Agenda Scotland (DAS) has published Equal? Still Not, Why Not?, which gathered the views of over 80 people with a physical or learning disability, sight or hearing impairment and mental health problems, and found that people with disabilities still face discrimination, poverty and prejudice. The report found that almost half of people in poverty live in a household with a disabled person or are disabled themselves, while the extra costs of living with disability average £550 a month; only 43.8 per cent of people with disabilities in Scotland are currently in work; and the number of disability hate crimes has increased by 20 per cent from 2013-14 to 2014-15.

To find out more about the Scottish Parliament’s CPG on Disability click here

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