HC Deb 25 January 1982 vol 16 cc238-9W
Sir David Price

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what have been his Department's specific contributions to the International Year of Disabled People.

Mr. Allan Stewart

During the International Year of Disabled People the following Scottish Office contributions were of particular noteThe Scottish Council on Disability was funded to provide secretarial services to the Scottish committee on IYDP, which co-ordinated activities and projects throughout the year in Scotland; apart from individual activities and projects one result has been the creation of 16 local committees in various parts of Scotland. The Scottish committee on access was funded through the Scottish Council on Disability. Subsequently all the Scottish building control authorities have designated access officers; and a guidance leaflet has been prepared for wide distribution to public bodies, architects and others. Legislation was also enacted which will make it necessary for developers to provide access arrangements and facilities for disabled persons in new buildings to which the public have access, unless it would not be reasonable or practicable. A grant was made for a building awards scheme: the awards went mostly to local authority recreation centres, but among other buildings receiving awards was a parish church. As a result of Government encouragement to concentrate public authority capital spending on special needs housing there was a considerable improvement in the level of houses specifically adapted for the disabled. A special £3.8 million allocation was made to the housing corporation in Scotland to increase the funding of housing association projects providing accommodation for persons with special needs, including physical and mental disability. The Education (Scotland) Act 1981 implemented the main recommendations of the Warnock committee report, and made new provision for the special educational needs of handicapped children. Research projects with relevance for the disabled have been funded. There has been emphasis under urban aid in supporting projects related to the disabled. A number of voluntary bodies concerned with the disabled received grants. A new leaflet "Help with Mobility" was issued; it describes the central and local government assistance available to persons who have difficulty in walking. As an example of voluntary effort within the public service, the staff of the Scottish prison service raised well over £50, 000. About half went to the Scottish Association for the Deaf to purchase videonews machines for its centres throughout Scotland, and the rest to local charities for the disabled.

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