Guidance launched for disability access duties

The
Disability Rights Commission (DRC) and the Local Government Association (LGA)
are launching guidance for local authorities to prepare them for the
introduction of new access duties.

From
next year, everyone providing a service will have to consider making
improvements to the physical structure of their buildings to make them more
user-friendly for disabled people.

Speaking
at the LGA conference, called ‘Access to services: disability equality in local
government’, Laura Willoughby, chair of the LGA’s equalities executive,
said: 

"Many
local authorities have already done a lot of good work to improve access to
services for disabled people, and a lot can be learned from their examples.

"It
isn’t the case that councils do not want to meet these new requirements, but
many are unsure of the legal implications and fearful of the costs it
involves," she said.

Bob
Niven, chief executive of the DRC, said: "We are concerned that many
larger local authorities are simply not grasping the opportunity to make their
services accessible to disabled people."

www.open4all.org

By Michael Millar

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