Keys to Life framework launched by the Scottish Government and COSLA

Challenging perceptions and building opportunity.

People with learning disabilities are to be supported to live more independently, play a full part in their communities and achieve their aspirations.

The Keys to Life framework was launched on March 13, 2019 by the Scottish Government and COSLA, and was created in partnership with the Scottish Commission on Learning Disabilities (SCLD) and the Scottish Learning Disabilities Observatory.

The initiative focuses on building a more inclusive society, where people with learning disabilities have the support theneed across all aspects of their lives.

There are 26,349 people with learning disabilities in Scotland and currently only 7% are employed and 6.2% are in further education.

The Keys to Life sets out plans to raise the profile of employing people with a learning disability, as well as improving experiences in school and improving the transition from school to further education or employment. The framework also covers healthy relationships and the right to become a parent.

Speaking at the launch of the framework alongside Christina McKelvie Minster for Older People and Equalities, Minister for Mental Health Clare Haughey said:

“We want Scotland to be an inclusive society in which everyone can play a full role and we are absolutely committed to changing attitudes and to showing the positive contributions that people with learning disabilities can and do make.

“The new framework is about children and young people as well as adults, and it is also about the whole life journey, not just health and social care. It’s an exciting opportunity to make real change and I want to thank the SCLD, the Observatory and everyone else who has helped make this happen.”

Councillor Stuart Currie, COSLA spokesperson for Health and Social Care said:

“We are proud to launch this framework today with our partners, sending a strong message that we are committed to improving the lives of people with learning disabilities through whole-system improvements.

“The Keys to Life seeks to improve people’s whole-life journey, enhance opportunities and deliver better outcomes around a set of themes that were identified by people with learning disabilities and we look forward to working with Scottish Government and the third sector to deliver this.”

Chris Creegan, Chief Executive of the SCLD said:

“This new implementation framework represents a step change in the aspirations of The Keys to Life strategy for people with learning disabilities - underpinned by a whole system approach which recognises them as citizens with ambitions and talents who want to make a contribution to Scottish society.”


The framework has been created in partnership with COSLA, the Scottish Commission on Learning Disabilities and the Scottish Learning Disabilities Observatory.