More than half a million enquiries have been made to the Disability Rights Commission (DRC) helpline since it was established in 2000, the DRC said today.
This year alone, the helpline has handled 124,368 enquiries with the vast majority (70%) coming from disabled individuals, their representatives, relatives or friends.
The DRC has received 10,986 enquiries about potential disability discrimination in the past year. Almost half of these were employment related, highlighting the discrimination that disabled people continue to face in the workplace.
A further 35% of potential discrimination enquiries were related to services, 12% to education and 4% to premises.
Chairman Bert Massie said: “We are seeing real and positive changes in the way that disabled people are treated throughout Britain as new legislation strengthens disabled people’s rights and government, employers and other organisations are beginning to take disability seriously.”
The DRC has also launched a major national debate on the future of disabled people’s equality in the UK. The Disability Debate is designed to set the agenda on disability equality for the next 20 years.
Massie said: “Our Disability Debate is the first wide-ranging debate aimed at breaking down the remaining barriers to disabled people’s full involvement and participation in society. Its findings will act as the blueprint for delivering to disabled people in the new Commission for Equalities and Human Rights.”