About the Disability Discrimination Act Part III
From 1st October 2004, organisations, which provide goods and services to the public, will be required by Part III of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995 to ensure that disabled persons can access their premises and use their services. The service provider is required to carry out "reasonable adjustments" to the physical barriers within their business that currently prevent access or enable a disabled person to use their business in carrying out their day-to-day activities.
The recommended first step is identification of the barriers, which should be followed up by a detailed action plan. Standard forms (including tips) to enable these tasks to be recorded are provided within the Health & SafetyDocument Folder - see related docuemnts below.
Examples of adjustments to make buildings where services are provided more accessible are as follows:
- removing a physical feature
- altering it so that it no longer is inaccessible
- providing a reasonable means of avoiding a feature
Disabled people, for the purposes of the legislation, cover a wide cross section of the public including the elderly, expectant females and mothers with push chairs (around 8.5 million people in the UK)
The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995 is aimed at ending the discrimination which many disabled people currently face. Under the Act, discrimination occurs when a disabled person is treated less favourably than someone without a disability. In relation to Part III of the act, discrimination occurs when failure to comply with the duty to make "reasonable adjustments" is evident and it cannot be shown why failure is justified. Enforcement will be brought about by an individual, who may commence legal action against a business through the court system. The disabled community have been waiting for this legislation for a long time and there are a growing number of test cases, which will quickly set future precedence. Excuses such as "but I have no disabled customers" or "I don’t understand what I need to do to comply" will not be accepted.