Lindsay Kinloch shares why the newly launched 'Human Rights Town' app is important to the lives of people with learning disabilities.

On 30 August people with learning disabilities alongside the Scottish Commission for People with Learning Disabilities (SCLD) (this link will take you away from our website) and the Publishing Bureau (this link will take you away from our website) launched ‘Human Rights Town’ – an app to empower people with learning disabilities to recognise and realise their rights.

In this opinion piece, App Development Group Member, Lindsay Kinloch, shares why human rights and this app are important to the lives of people with learning disabilities.

Human Rights are important to us all, wherever we are in the world. Sadly, human rights information is not always accessible because it usually contains jargon regularly used by politicians and policy makers.

I am a self-advocate and it’s important for me to get information about human rights in an accessible format. Not just for myself but for everyone with a learning disability worldwide.

People with learning disabilities have been left behind in the COVID-19 pandemic. People with learning disabilities are three times more likely to die as a result of COVID-19 and we are also more likely to experience do not resuscitate orders against our will. This violates our right to life. People with learning disabilities and older people have not had their human rights protected during the pandemic.

Decision making is happening too quickly for our involvement and we have an interest in wider politics which is often not considered. Because of this we are sadly being hidden and forgotten about, like some of us were in long stay hospitals.

People with learning disabilities alongside SCLD co-produced an amazing new app called Human Rights Town, alongside the Publishing Bureau. This app was created by and for people with learning disabilities to empower us to recognise our human rights and live the life we want.

When I first saw the Human Rights Town app, it captured my attention because it’s so colourful. It has the right colours to make it both engaging and accessible.

One of the most important things about the app is that people with a learning disability, like myself, were involved throughout the app development. I was part of making the voice overs, I recorded four voice overs. This is another great feature of the app. You are going to hear voices of people who themselves have learning disabilities, learning difficulties and autism.

What I like about the app is that it is challenging. I took the full quiz myself and out of 25 questions I got 23 right and two wrong. I think it’s just at the right level to give us a challenge, many people think that because we have a learning disability everything has to be over simplified, but that’s not always the case. I think the app is ‘simply good’ and pitched at the right level to help many of us learn about our rights.

The changes I hope this app will achieve are that people with learning disabilities are at the centre of decision making,  and that politicians think about the language they use when creating new laws and policies to protect our rights.

I hope that people with learning disabilities will be empowered to be involved in the development of the new human rights law for Scotland and how we can best make human rights under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities real.

Lindsay Kinloch is a member of the Human Rights Town App Development Group and a Driver for Change member for the Glasgow Disability Alliance (GDA) (this link will take you away from our website). Lindsay has a learning disability and is a keen self-advocate. Lindsay wants politicians and policy makers across Scotland to take note – “keep it clear, keep it simple!”

‘Human Rights Town’ is available to download for free from Apple App Store (this link will take you away from our website) and Google Play Store (this link will take you away from our website).


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