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GUIDANCE and CHECKLISTS.

Each section starts with general guidance information which can be used as a checklist of items to consider. This sets the general principals before moving into more detail.

Each screen full of information is split into two columns to keep lines of text short to help some people with visual impairments. Alternate screen sections have borders so that information in the two columns is kept together as you scroll down the pages.

The DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION ACT

The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) has been incorporated ito the Equality Act. This now covers far more than disability. The original DDA had guidance documents published in connection with it and these considerably helped with understanding it. For this reason, the DDA is still referred to in this web site as it focusses on the disability aspects of equality.

The 1995 Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) came into force in December 1996. Many employers and service providers have taken action and removed practices and facilities which could discriminate against people with disabilities. Some have brought in new practices and procedures and provided auxilliary equipment as required by October 1999 in stage III of the Act. Physical barriers should have been removed by the deadline of October 2004.

However, plenty of others will not have done all of this or, in some cases, any of it. The Disability Rights Commission came into being in April 2000 and the signs were that the requirements and actions taken under the DDA were becoming more stringent. The DRC is now the Equality and Human Rights Commission (www.equalityhumanrights.com.en)

The question of what to do to be within the act was difficult because precise actions were not set down. A code of practice on actions to consider was issued in October 1999 and this was later updated to include what should be done to remove physical barriers.

The basic requirement is

NOT TO DISCRIMINATE AGAINST PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES,

particularly when providing services.

Many of the actions that can help in this are comparatively easy to undertake and do not necessarily need to cost a lot. Common sense, practical action and some understanding of the factors of disability will carry a designer, developer or service provider a long way towards providing an equal service for disabled people. This is still the case under the Equality Act.