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Lords says Govt failing duty of care to disabled people

24 March 2016

The Equality Act 2010: the impact on disabled people.

The House of Lords Select Committee on the Equality Act 2010 and Disability investigating the Act's impact on disabled people has concluded that the Government is failing in its duty of care to disabled people.

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Disability Rights UK CEO Liz Sayce said, in the Guardian:

“20 years ago, after many years of campaigning, the Disability Discrimination Act was born, giving new rights and new hope to disabled people.

“Many of those rights remain dormant because of inaction by government. If disabled people were given the support and opportunities they should be, they would be more economically active and at less risk of poor health and isolation.”

Key findings and recommendations in the report:

  • Government should bring into force immediately provisions in the Act obliging taxi drivers to take passengers with wheelchairs.
  • All new rail infrastructure must build into its design step-free access.
  • Ministers must report on the progress made on all sports stadia, following the Premier League’s promise to upgrade all their stadia by August 2017.
  • Many restaurants, pubs and clubs are difficult to access, with many not providing basic facilities such as a disabled toilet. Local authorities should be allowed to refuse to grant or renew licences to inaccessible premises until they make the necessary changes.
  • Planning policies need to be revised so that new buildings are wheelchair accessible or adaptable
  • All Government departments, local authorities and public bodies should review how they communicate with disabled people, and that disabled people must be involved in this process.
  • Developments in recent years have made fighting discrimination more difficult for disabled people. New tribunal fees, less access to legal aid, and procedural changes have combined to create barriers to the effective enforcement of disabled people’s rights. Changes are recommended to combat this.