Consumers: Disability

Women and Equalities written question – answered on 22nd May 2018.

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Photo of Layla Moran Layla Moran Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Education)

To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the Equality Act 2010 in improving accessibility to (a) shops and (b) websites for disabled consumers.

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Minister for Women

In 2015, the Government carried out post legislative scrutiny of the 2010 Act to determine how the legislation has been operating since its introduction, including in relation to access to services for disabled people.

This showed that the Act in general constitutes stronger protection against discrimination for all protected groups, including disabled people, and provides additional ways of tackling inequalities.

We have recently announced that we intend to commence Section 36 of the Act as soon as possible to improve disabled people’s access to the common parts of shared dwellings (reception areas, stairwells etc.). Further work on identifying and assessing any additional burdens on local authorities is first required, after which an announcement on timing of the commencement will be made.

We are also currently transposing the EU directive on public sector website accessibility, which will come into law by September 2018 before the UK leaves the EU. This builds upon the Equality Act of 2010 and formalises existing policy that public sector bodies should to take measures to ensure that their websites are accessible for persons with disabilities. Websites will need to assess the accessibility of their websites and apps and provide details of this in an accessibility statement.

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