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October 28, 2003

Disabled access: new guidance for local councils

From: Human Resources-Centre, UK - Oct 28, 2003

New guidance for local councils on providing disabled access was launched at a local government conference yesterday.

The Disability Rights Commission (DRC) and the Local Government Association (LGA) have produced the guide to the new access duties, which will apply to all service providers from next October.

The duty to make buildings accessible to disabled people will have a significant impact on local authority services, including: libraries, sports centres, swimming pools, streets, parks and open spaces, housing offices and recycling centres.

The duty goes beyond ramps for wheelchairs and requires service providers to make all their services as accessible as possible.

The Royal National Institute for the Deaf has surveyed small businesses and found only 2% planned to train staff in deaf awareness and provide communication aids, such as pencil and paper, at their premises.

The DRC’s new website provides practical advice and information to anyone who provides a service to the public.

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