Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Failing Our Disabled People

See this dispatch by that title from Edinburgh. It begins:

COMPANIES across the Lothians are still not providing adequate facilities for disabled people more than a year after new laws came into force, campaigners claimed today.

The Disability Rights Commission Scotland says the situation is so bad that it is looking to pursue legal action against some of the worst offenders.

Retail and leisure providers, including pubs, restaurants, shops and health clubs, could face action unless they take steps to improve their facilities. The final part of the Disability Discrimination Act, which was introduced in October 2004, called on service providers to make access easier for disabled people, either by removing barriers to service or by offering their service in different ways.

In accessing public services, all disabled people have the right not to be treated "less favourably". But disability support groups say the lack of action taken by some companies is a "huge problem".

A spokeswoman for Capability Scotland said: "There are large numbers of shops, business and service providers in the area that have not made adequate changes.

"We have found that among the main offenders are multi-national companies and major banks, who seem to take little notice of the laws. We also found that there was not a single council in Scotland that is fully accessible.

"Business and service providers shouldn't look at this as an onerous duty, but rather a business benefit as it will get more customers in."

Sounds familiar.


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