Buildings: Disability

Women and Equalities written question – answered on 7th June 2022.

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Photo of Lord Blencathra Lord Blencathra Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have any plans to amend the Equalities Act 2010 to make it compulsory for “reasonable adjustments” to be made to the buildings open to the public which have no wheelchair access.

Photo of Lord Blencathra Lord Blencathra Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what guidance they issue to businesses who do not currently have access through their main entrance for wheelchair users, including businesses which suggest access through other entrances and pubs, and restaurants that have access through kitchens; and how this guidance compares with access for persons with other protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010.

Photo of Baroness Stedman-Scott Baroness Stedman-Scott The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

A full review of Part M of the Building Regulations is underway, relating to access to, and use of, buildings. It includes a research programme on the prevalence and demographics of impairment in England and ergonomic requirements of wheelchair users and experiences of disabled people. Evidence gathered will help government consider what changes can be made, including updates to statutory guidance. At present however, no change in the Equality Act 2010 of the sort mentioned in my Noble Friend’s question is envisaged. For service providers the reasonable adjustment duty in the Act is of course anticipatory, which means that those who provide services to members of the public are expected to anticipate the reasonable adjustments that disabled customers may require to ensure the disabled person does not experience a substantial disadvantage compared to their non-disabled counterparts.

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