Legal Services Agency – Disability and Social Justice Project
The Disability and Social Justice Project has recently been launched by Legal Services Agency to support and empower disabled people living anywhere in Scotland to enforce their rights, challenge injustice and reduce discrimination.
The project will cover five key areas of work:
The project will provide accessible and personalised specialist legal advice, advocacy and representation to disabled people. Our legal team will represent people who have suffered discrimination because of their disability and will challenge breaches of Human Rights Law. We will also assist disabled people who have legal problems which are not directly related to their disability, in order to improve access to justice more generally. We can provide advice and representation in the following areas of law: housing, prevention of homelessness, general social welfare law, criminal injures compensation claims, employment and obtaining medical evidence for benefit appeals.
We aim to work closely with other organisations to establish referral pathways. We will provide training to front-line staff to help them to recognise common forms of discrimination so they can more easily identify situations in which a service user may benefit from legal advice.
We will analyse the casework we carry out in order to identify key trends and issues faced by disabled people and will share our findings in publications. We hope that this will become a useful resource for disabled communities to obtain information on their rights and how to challenge breaches of their rights.
Where we identify systemic policy and practice issues we will engage in strategic litigation with a view to effecting wider change which will benefit disabled people generally.
Our trainee solicitor, Kay Foulkes, will carry out specific research considering the specific barriers and impacts which those with hidden disabilities experience. The findings of this research will be shared with the Scottish Ministers through the Equalities and Human Rights Fund as funders of the project in order to highlight effective changes to policy and practice that will have maximum impact.
You can make an appointment with a solicitor using the website contact form: www.lsa.org.uk/how-to-access-services/make-an-appointment or call the freephone number on 0800 316 8450.
For more information about the Disability and Social Justice Project, visit: www.lsa.org.uk/how-we-help/disability-and-social-justice-project