Disability Rights Commission names and shames 65 public authorities for failing to produce disability equality scheme

Channel Four Television is among 65 public bodies that have been threatened with legal action for continuing to drag their heels in producing a disability equality scheme.

The Disability Rights Commission (DRC) has named and shamed 65 public authorities that have failed to produce the document – required under the Disability Equality Duty – despite a deadline of December last year and subsequent warning letters.

Local councils, health trusts, colleges, universities, museums and fire services were among those warned by the DRC at the beginning of March. But at the end of last month, 65 bodies had still not provided any evidence that the required schemes were in place.

The duty is meant to ensure that all public bodies pay “due regard” to the promotion of equality for disabled people in every area of their work, including employment.

DRC chairman Bert Massie said: “I’m really pleased that the public sector as a whole has done a great job in responding to the requirements of the duty, with more than 96% of organisations producing a scheme. The question is why have a small minority failed to do so?

“[The DRC] will now be considering issuing compliance notices to offending organisations, which could lead to court action.”

The naming and shaming exercise follows an audit carried out by the government’s Office for Disability Issues to check whether disability equality schemes had been published. The DRC, which is responsible for enforcing the duty, is currently revising its list of those that do not comply.

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