DAS held a very successful hustings on Monday 18 April, representatives from DAS member organisations challenged a cross party panel on a range of disability issues.
Disability Agenda Scotland (DAS) highlighted the likeliehood that people with disabilities could be key to deciding the result of the May 5th elections to the Scottish Parliament. It pointed out that as many as one in five people living in Scotland have a disability or long term health condition and many more people are indirectly affected by the disability of family members, friends and colleagues.
The policies that the parties and the new Government take forward may have a profound effect on the lives of disabled people. At this DAS hustings in Glasgow, people with a range of disabilities had a chance to ask questions and put forward their views to a panel of parliamentary candidates.
The cross party panel representatives were:
SNP - Jamie Hepburn, health improvement and mental health minister in the last Scottish Parliament
Scottish Liberal Democrats - Robert Brown, another former health minister
Scottish Labour - Michael Shanks
Scottish Conservatives - Graeme Brooks
Scottish Green Party - Zara Kitson
The panel was chaired by Billy Watson, Chief Executive of the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) and Chair of DAS.
A transcript of the event can be viewed here. Video and photos will be available shortly although commentary from the event is also available on DAS Twitter @DAScotland. This was the third hustings DAS has held in as many years. We previously hosted hustings around the Independence Referendum and the 2015 General Election. We intend to continue to run these events until disabled people in Scotland tell us that they are seeing significant improvements in key issues.
Of the election candidates who signed the DAS pledge, one third were elected as MSPs.
Highlighting employment, social security, stigma and discrimination, download the DAS Pledge here.