New disability rights legislation could transform public sector

Leaders of public bodies are being urged to respond to a consultation launched today on proposed legislation that could force the public sector to change the way it works.

Changes to the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), being introduced by the Government next year, will mean public sector bodies will have a duty to promote disability equality in all aspects of their work in much the same way as the Race Relations Amendment Act required.

The entire public sector will have a duty to promote the equalisation of opportunities for disabled people.

The Disability Rights Commission (DRC) is calling for responses from heads of public sector bodies which will be affected by changes to the DDA. It has drawn up a draft code of practice to support the amended legislation. The consultation lasts for three months.

Bert Massie, chairman of the DRC, said: “Our code of practice will help people understand major changes to duties on the public sector. It is hard to overstate just how big a deal the new duty will be for disabled people.”

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