Commission offers guidance on disabled access rights

The
Disability Rights Commission has launched new legal guidance on disabled access
to businesses following extensive research.

It claims
companies are failing to capture the £40bn disability market because of
confusion around access requirements.

Research by
the DRC finds that three our of four SMEs believe it is vital to offer disabled
access, yet only one in three had made improvements. In the survey eight out of
10 businesses questioned admit that making premises accessible for the disabled
would improve profitability in the long term.

The new
Code of Practice on Disabled People’s Rights of Access outlines the final set
of obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. The Act requires
firms offering goods and services to make reasonable adjustments to access
barriers before October 2004.

DRC
chairman Bert Massie said making a premises accessible to the disabled made good
business sense, and the cost of reasonable adjustments would be minimal.

"Millions
of businesses and services are affected and many are concerned about the costs
of making changes. They need to know that reasonable adjustments are all that’s
required, which, in most cases, will mean low cost changes designed to maximise
accessibility for disabled people."

www.drc-gb.org

Ross Wigham

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