Disability commission rejects equality body proposals

The
Disability Rights Commission (DRC) has rejected government proposals for a
single equality body.

Instead,
it argues, an umbrella body focusing on issues of shared concern is needed,
while specialist units still have responsibility for the individual areas of
race, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation and religion.

DRC
chairman Bert Massie said his organisation’s proposed blueprint would ensure
each of the groups to be covered by the new body would be able to determine the
policies that affect them.

This,
he said, removes the fear many bodies have that their interests would receive a
lower priority than others in any new structure.

“The
model we argue for is akin to the department store – customers use the same
front door whether they’re shopping for hosiery or electrical goods, but this
doesn’t stop them from seeking out the expertise they need at any given visit.
All strands will serve what they want and when they want it. And nobody will be
knowingly undersold.”

“But
we need to guarantee that disability discrimination continues to be combated
and the expertise built up in the first few years of the DRC is maintained.”

By Quentin Reade

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