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Disabled People

Constitutional Affairs written question – answered on 8th May 2006.

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Photo of Tom Levitt Tom Levitt PPS (Rt Hon Hilary Benn, Secretary of State), Department for International Development

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what steps the Department has taken to meet its statutory obligation as a public body in promoting the rights of disabled people.

Photo of Bridget Prentice Bridget Prentice Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs

The Department for Constitutional Affairs is mindful if its responsibilities under the Disability Discrimination Act 2005. It has put into place a programme to establish a Disability Equality Scheme which will be operative by December 2006. General action plans are in preparation for the Department for Constitutional Affairs and regional action plans are being prepared regarding specific duties. The Department has sought assistance from the Disability Rights Commission and Greater London Authority regarding its Disability Equality Scheme.

In order to obtain views from disabled staff on the Disability Equality Scheme, questionnaires were sent to all staff with a disability seeking their views/suggestions as to what should be included in the Scheme. The Disability Rights Commission has yet to define the Secretary of State's areas of responsibility for reporting on the Disability Equality Duty.

The Department's Disability Network has been influential, in conjunction with Human Resources, in arranging a specific training course for frontline staff designed to assist customers with disabilities to access its services more effectively. The Network has put together a step-by-step guidance manual for managers and staff detailing how the Department's services might be utilised.

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