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, with specialist units still having responsibility for
the individual areas of race, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation and
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 in
any new structure.
He said: “The model we argue for is akin to a 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. All strands will be served with what they want, when they want it.
“But we need to guarantee that disability discrimination
continues to be combated and that the expertise built up in the first few years
of the DRC is maintained.”