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Disability Rights Commission - Forward Planning Notice

Shops and other service providers asked to "be reasonable" and remove barriers to access for disabled people
On 26 February 2002 The Disability Rights Commission (DRC) will launch a new Code of Practice offering advice to businesses ands services in Britain on how to overcome physical barriers to access experienced by disabled people.

The DRC is calling for service providers to "be reasonable" and start "putting their house in order" for disabled customers now prior to The rights of Access for disabled People becoming law in 2004 under the Disability discrimination Act.

The Code calls for reasonable adjustments to be made to around 2 million businesses and services of all sizes throughout Britain who have not yet complied with the requirements of the Disability discrimination Act 1995.

Reasonable adjustments usually involve simple low cost changes to premises or the way a service is provided which will help disabled people, and help businesses tap into the estimated 40 billion spending power of disabled consumers in Britain each year.

The DRC has also produced three publications to help disabled people , small businesses and other service providers understand the Code of Practice :

A Practical Guide For Small Businesses; offering practical information for small businesses about the "reasonable adjustments" required under the new Code

2004 - what it means for disabled People; a summary of rights of disabled people under the new Code

2004 - what it means for service providers; a summary of the legal duties on service providers under the new Code

Facts On Disability
There are about 800,000 disabled people in Scotland.
52% of people in Scotland think disabled people are treated unfairly by society as a whole.
55% think that not enough is done to ensure that disabled people can buy goods and services like non-disabled people.
Disabled people account for about one in five of the working age population.
About 60% of people in Scotland know someone who is disabled.
About 3.8billion is spent by 800,000 disabled consumers in Scotland each year.
The Code of practice affects more than 2999,000 businesses in Scotland.
Only one in five people think people in rural areas have the same access as people in urban areas.
More than two in three people do not think there could be occasions when it iss justified to treat disabled people less favourable than others.
Lerss than half the population think disabled people's needs are taken into account when building and renovating buildings and public spaces.
To order FREE copies of the Practical Guide or summary booklets, or for further information about the code contact  the DRC helpline on 084547 622 633 or visit the DRC web site at www.drc-gb.org The Code of Practice will be available from the Stationery Office.

The part of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 relating to the provision of gppds and services has three phases;
Dec 1996 -0 it becomes unlawful for service providers to treat disabled people less favourably for a reason related to their disability.
October 1999 - service providers must make 'reasonable adjustment' for disabled people e.g. providing extra help or making changes to the way they provide services
October 2004 - service providers may have to make other 'reasonable adjustments' in relation to the physical features of their premises to overcome physical barriers to access.

The Disability Rights Commission (DRC) is an independent body set up by an Act of Parliament in April 2000 to enforce the rights of disabled people.


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