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Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Law change will benefit the disabled

This news post is over 7 years old
 

Change in access laws will benefit disabled, says charity

A disability charity has hailed a proposed law change which will make public buildings more accessible as “a great step forward.”

The Scottish Disability Forum says a new bill could directly benefit Scotland’s 120,000 wheelchair users.

The Equality Act 2010 currently requires that, where a physical feature such as a step makes access to a public building difficult, reasonable action must be taken by the occupier to address the problem.

Many wheelchair users are still unable to access employment, education, healthcare or leisure activities due to the lack of such a small but simple access improvement

A change to the act is included within the Equality Act 2010 (Amendment) Bill which has had its first hearing in the House of Lords.

If it becomes law, it will mean ramps must be provided where there are steps – applying at first only to properties with a step less than six inches high, increasing after two years to those with a step less than twelve inches high.

Robert Ferguson, disability access officer at Scottish Disability Equality Forum, said: “We’re pleased to see this proposal for a more explicit access duty, which is a great step forward, being proposed by Lord Blencathra.

“We know from our work supporting access panels, run by disabled volunteers, and listening to our members across Scotland that entry to buildings remains a significant problem.

“Many wheelchair users are still unable to access employment, education, healthcare or leisure activities due to the lack of such a small but simple access improvement.

“It is therefore only right that a more directive approach should be taken to enforcing access improvements.”

 

Comments

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Anglophile
over 7 years ago
Great! Now when are public buildings going to be accessible to people with sensory impairments? My local authority consistently fails to provide functioning induction loops at public meetings. It has spent a fortune on a system in its business suite that rarely works, and trains only its customer-facing staff in disability access. Thsi means staff organising functions haven't a clue how to make them accessible to all
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Molly Barrett
over 7 years ago
There are people who cannot safely use a ramp without a handrail on both sides. How will these people be accommodated?