Disability: Access

Women and Equalities written question – answered on 11th June 2019.

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Photo of George Eustice George Eustice Conservative, Camborne and Redruth

To ask the Secretary of State for Women and Equalities, what steps the Government is taking to improve enforcement of requirements of the Equality Act 2010 on access to facilities for disabled people.

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

The Equality Act 2010 contains strong, enforceable protections for disabled people who experience discrimination, including a failure by employers or service providers to make reasonable adjustments to enable disabled people to access work and services like everybody else.

In 2018 the Government committed to the commencement of section 36 of the Equality Act, which will enable disabled tenants to require that landlords and building owners to make reasonable adjustments to the common parts of dwellings, such as entry points, landings and stairs. Work to determine the cost of implementation is proceeding and an announcement will be made in due course.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), which enforces the Equality Act, recently delivered a Legal Support Project to increase access to justice for people experiencing disability discrimination. It offered groups £189,000 for legal assistance across 94 cases in areas including employment.

The EHRC has increased its capacity to advise on discrimination cases in its new strategic plan, and has supported several court cases which resulted in strengthened rights for disabled people, including those wishing to make reasonable adjustments to their homes and disabled children who may demonstrate a tendency to physical abuse as a result of their disability, whose schools must now make reasonable adjustments in such cases.

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