Inclusion Scotland  

Working towards a society where disabled people are equal citizens

Inclusion Scotland (IS) is a consortium of organisations of disabled people and disabled individuals. Through a process of structured development we aim to draw attention to the physical, social, economic, cultural and attitudinal barriers that affect our everyday lives as disabled people in Scotland. We aim to encourage a wide understanding of those issues throughout mainstream thought in Scotland. In short, we want to reverse the current social exclusion experienced by disabled people through civil dialogue, partnerships, capacity building, education, persuasion, training and advocacy. Read more about Inclusion Scotland.

Inclusion Scotland welcomes your feedback about our website, and organisation. Please click here to let us have your views.

Would you, or your organisation be interested in free membership to Inclusion Scotland? 


We are keen to build on the work already done so the voice of disabled people can really be heard by policy makers and enable disabled people to make a real contribution to the improvement of every day life in Scotland.


You can join as an individual disabled person or organisations can also take out a membership.  Both are free of charge.


For information on becoming a member of Inclusion Scotland please contact us on 0141 559 5025 or email


Inclusion Scotland's response to the Smith Commission is now available.


We have two new briefings from our Rights Now! project: 


Personal Independent Payment


Minimising the harm of benefit sanctions


Please note that the information is correct at the time of publication and should only be used as guidance, and not a definitive document.



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Latest News

80,000 unemployed people face benefit sanctions misery this Christmas – including 6,800 disabled people

More than 80,000 families face a bleak and miserable Christmas because of punitive and unfair benefit sanctions, the PCS union says.

PCS say an estimated £20 million – £250 per person on average – in benefits will be withheld from poor and desperate job seekers during the run-up to Christmas and the new year festivities.

Analysing figures from the Department...

Iain Duncan Smith LAUGHS during Bedroom Tax debate sparking outrage

Tory minster Ian Duncan Smith has sparked outrage by laughing during a heartbreaking debate on the affects of the Bedroom Tax.

He was spotted throwing his head back and chortling while being accused by Labour's John Robertson of simply not listening to anyone else and was 'bored'.

The comment came after the minister appeared to be talking to Tory MP Mark Harper as another MP spoke...

Benefit payment delays and the bedroom tax impact terribly on disabled people's lives

This year has been an extremely challenging year for many disabled people and today is a perfect example of just some of those challenges. Figures released by the Department for Work and Pensions have revealed that thousands of people are still waiting to be assessed for Personal Independence Payments and are struggling to access this vital benefit. Alongside this, an opposition debate on...

Britain’s benefits sanctions: ‘My brother’s gone. We can’t bring him back, but we can’t let this go on’

Gill Thompson and Cathie Wood have come together through impossibly tragic circumstances. Both of their brothers died, hungry, with no money to buy food, after their benefits were stopped.

Last month, the two women joined forces to campaign for improvements in the way the government treats vulnerable benefits claimants, hoping to draw something positive from the deaths of their brothers....

'Facebook refused to ban' autism hate page

Facebook have been accused of refusing to ban a vile page attacking autistic kids, despite angry protests.

Upset parents who begged the social network site to remove the Moms Against Autistic Children thread were told it did not 'violate our community standards'.

Katie Fitzgerald, of St Helens, Merseyside, was one of them.

The 27-year-old, whose son Riley-Jack, three, is autistic,...

Family angry at £700 parking bill for Edinburgh Royal Infirmary visits

A family has been left counting the cost after being forced to shell out hundreds of pounds to visit a sick mum in hospital.

Chronic asthmatic Joyce Walkingshaw, 44, spent the last three months at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, where daily visits from relatives were her “lifeline”.And now fresh calls have been made to axe a “tax on the sick” after the family was left...

Post Office settles disability discrimination case

An actress with dwarfism who could not reach chip-and-pin machines in a post office has had her discrimination case settled by the company.

Kiruna Stamell sued the Post Office, claiming disability discrimination.

The Post Office thanked Ms Stamell for bringing the issue to its attention, and has put flexible leads on the machines so their reach can now be extended.

Ms Stamell's...

DWP urged to publish inquiries on benefit claimant suicides

The Department for Work and Pensions has been urged by mental health and disability charities to publish its secret investigations into suicides that may have some link to benefit changes, following revelations that it has carried out internal reviews into 60 such cases.

A Freedom of Information request by the Disability News Service has revealed that the DWP has carried out “60 peer...

‘Hypocrite!’ Minister for disabled people sparks anger over inaccessible HQ

The minister for disabled people has been accused of hypocrisy after he called for shops and restaurants across the country to improve their access, even though his own high street constituency office is inaccessible to wheelchair-users.

Mark Harper is Conservative MP for the Forest of Dean, and the party’s constituency office in Cinderford high street has a large step in front of...

Down’s syndrome does not shut the door on work

Many people with Down’s syndrome thrive in the workforce, so a new push to help them get there is welcome, says Callum Mackinnon.

Government minister Lord Freud last month commented that people with disabilities were “not worth” the minimum wage. While the Westminster welfare minister apologised within 24 hours, his comments do reflect the difficulties many people with...

Thousands of Scottish children affected by benefit sanctions as food bank users top 900,000

Thousands of children in Scotland have been affected by cruel and vindictive benefit sanctions, new figures reveal.

Figures released by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), in response to a Freedom of Information request (FOI), reveal that 3,600 Scottish benefit claimants with dependent children were hit by benefit sanctions between 1 June 2012 and 31 May 2013.

The figure includes...

Scotland's first ever Minister for Mental Health

Jamie Hepburn is the first Scottish Government minister to have mental health in his or her job title.

Commenting on his plans for mental health, Jamie Hepburn, Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health, said:

“I am proud to be the first Scottish Government minister with mental health in my job title. This demonstrates the importance we place on improving the nation’s...

Faruk Ali: Bedfordshire PCs Christopher Thomas and Christopher Pitts cleared

Two police officers accused of pursuing an autistic man before one beat him have been cleared of all charges.

Bedfordshire PCs Christopher Thomas and Christopher Pitts were found not guilty of misconduct in a public office by chasing Faruk Ali, 33, in a police car.

PC Thomas, 33, of Welwyn Garden City, was also cleared of racially aggravated assault over the incident in Luton.


Bus firms not required to force parents with buggies to move for wheelchairs

Wheelchair users should petition parliament for a change in the law if they want to be sure of the right to reserved spaces on buses, according to a court of appeal judgment.

In a ruling that balanced the interest of passengers with pushchairs against those in wheelchairs, three senior judges decided that transport firms are not required to force one traveller to make way for the other.


Yes, people can starve in benefit-sanctions Britain

Unemployed, disabled and chronically ill people are going hungry – because a sadistic government is removing the money they need to eat.

“Hunger stalks this country” is the finding of a church-funded report by an all-party group of MPs and peers released today. Lady Jenkin, a Conservative, used its launch to declare the main cause of this national crisis was “poor...

Disabled man refused benefits and left on crisis loan because he asked for help with form

A disabled job-seeker was refused benefit payments and left relying on a crisis loan because he wanted help understanding a document before he signed it.

Chris Hart, 47, from Plympton, was refused job seeker’s allowance (JSA) and hardship payments because he asked for support before he signed the agreement.

Now Mr Hart’s legal challenge against the Department of Work and...

New coalition will battle for humane welfare system

A coalition of leading civil society groups has been formed to press for a humane welfare system.

The Scottish Leaders Welfare Group (SLWG) met today (Monday) in Glasgow and said it would start to collate evidence which would be used to put pressure on both Westminster and Holyrood.

Its work kicked off straight away when it met in Drumchapel Citizen's Advice Bureau and its members...

Exclusive: closure threatened charity worth 11 million a year to Glasgow

Millions of pounds will be squandered if funding is pulled from a closure-threatened frontline charity in Glasgow.

A report into the workings of the Glasgow Association of Mental Health (GAMH), seen by TFN, shows that for an annual investment of £2.1million, it provides a return of £11.1m.

Despite this, Glasgow City Council has said it wants to withdraw its support from...

Dundee man tells how benefits were stopped: ‘I was 10 minutes late for my job interview, now I am homeless’

A six-hour commute each day began to take its toll on Victor Gowans.

Unable to continue and eager to improve his quality of life, the 52-year-old Dundonian applied for a new job — only to find himself the victim of tough new sanctions.

Arriving at his interview 10 minutes late meant his Jobseeker’s Allowance was cut off and he has been forced to live on just £30 a...

Disabled man 'put up for auction' on care website

The family of a man with a learning disability say they are horrified that their local council put him 'up for auction' on a care website.

Emma Knight found Devon County Council was inviting companies to bid to look after her 45-year-old brother James.

The website listed other personal details that James's family say could easily identify him.

Devon County Council says it was...

Smith Commission: DWP accused of U-turn over work programme

The UK government is extending its work programme contracts despite a cross-party deal that it was due to come under Holyrood control.

The Scottish government said it was a 'flagrant and wilful breach' of the Smith Commission process to devolve more power to Scotland.

But Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael said the decision was made before the commission was set up.

The work...

UK Government welfare reforms are 'pushing Scots to breaking point'

UK Government welfare reforms are 'pushing people to breaking point' in communities throughout Scotland, according to a new report.

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) said cuts are having a 'devastating' impact on individuals and the charities that help them.

Benefit claimants face depression, fear and anxiety as a result of changes to the system, a report by the...

How benefit sanctions hit single parents and their children hardest

Raising an 18-month-old child is not easy when there's two of you, but when you're a single parent on benefits it's one of the hardest things in the world. Helen (not her real name) is on income support and has been threatened with sanctions if she doesn't 'do more' to find work.

She now has to decide whether she can work nights, leaving her baby alone - or face losing her income for a month.


New online Carer’s Allowance application system

The new online Carer’s Allowance application system has launched today, replacing an “outdated” and “difficult to complete” online system, the government has announced.

The new system for England, Scotland and Wales has been developed by the Government Digital Service and the Department for Work and Pensions, aimed at simplifying the process for busy carers...

300,000 disabled people waiting for housing living in unsuitable homes

About 300,000 disabled people are stuck on housing waiting lists across the UK, forced to make do in accommodation that does not meet their needs, according to a charity report.

In No Place Like Home, published on Monday, Leonard Cheshire Disability accused the government and housing developers of failing disabled people.

The charity wants the government to make housing developers...

Charities warn councils over disability law

Charities have warned Scottish councils risk breaking the law if they do not acknowledge their duty of care towards young disabled people doesn’t end as they turn 18.

The Scottish Disability Equality Forum made the warning following a landmark Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court ruling that Fife Council broke new equalities legislation by ending its financial support of disabled student David...


A Toolkit on Disability

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