Significant numbers of public bodies break Disability Equality Duty law by failing to publish details of disability schemes

Almost one-third of public authorities still have not published the details of their disability practices and policies, despite the government’s Disability Equality Duty becoming law in December 2006.

The Public Bodies’ Response to the Disability Equality Duty report found that only half (54%) of authorities had included any evidence of involving disabled people in their Disability Equality Scheme.

The study of more than 1,750 public authorities by the government’s Office for Disability Issues and the Ipsos Mori Social Research Institute included government departments and central government bodies, police authorities, NHS Trusts and Strategic Health Authorities.

Anne McGuire, minister for disabled people, said: “Implementation of the Disability Equality Duty is the key to improving the lives of disabled people. It’s a huge step forward that just over half of all public bodies audited by the Office for Disability Issues were found to have given disabled people a real opportunity to influence and shape the policies and services which have an impact on their lives.

“But it’s disappointing that a significant number of public bodies missed the December deadline to publish a scheme – and the Office for Disability Issues, working with the Disability Rights Commission, will be taking appropriate action to ensure all public bodies are playing their part in promoting equality for disabled people.”

Most public authorities, with the exception of schools in England and Wales, were required to produce and publish their Disability Equality Scheme by 4 December 2006.

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