Should Hotels Be Affraid Of The DDA (UK)
The Disability Discrimination Act part three has now been law since October 2004. The Disability Rights Commission (DRC) are receiving up to 500.000 calls of potential discrimination per year. It is t...
Why act now over disabled access?
The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 introduced a raft of new legislation aimed at ending the discrimination that many disabled people face in accessing your goods and services. Some service providers view the DDA as simply imposing extra costs and legal obligations. If you’re nodding in agreement, please ask yourself whether you have looked properly at the business case for making your goods and services more accessible as well as your legal obligations.
The Business Case.
It's important not to lose sight of the fact that the DDA is focused on increasing disabled access and safer egress to all services and facilities. Approximately 10 million people in the UK are classed as disabled under the DDA, that’s a sixth of the UK’s population. Some disabilities are more common in the older age groups, with almost 70% of disabled adults aged over 60. Nearly 75% of the Nation’s wealth is held by the over 50s who have an estimated annual income of £184bn.
By having an accessibility audit carried out on your premises we can add access issues into a long term feasibility study as well as assist you with compliance by reasonable adjustments.
In some cases an audit can recommend your building is not required to comply with the act in areas such as the high costs involved or building restrictions. We can assist you with compliance to the law by other reasonable cost effective means. Listed buildings are not exempt from the laws of the DDA.
The DRC suggests that businesses that are seen to address their issues of access through a DDA audit should be seen as attempting to meet those needs.
Ignoring those needs could have a reverse effect.
Mind your own business.
Disability Discrimination laws now protects those with vision and hearing impairments, learning difficulties, speech impediments etc etc. In short your duties under the DDA includes all disabilities from wheelchair users to asthma suffers. Understanding and meeting all of these needs is a very specialised area. Most cases of discrimination are against businesses that have not addressed their access issues by means of an audit inspection.
Being able to produce a accessibility report of your services shows your intention to comply, even if you are currently unable to meet those requirements (showing you are taking the act seriously) The Disability Rights Commission (DRC) will take this into account should a case of discrimination be brought against your company or hotel.
In short, please do not wait for a disabled person to have to force you to address your access issues under the DDA. A phone call to us to discuse your obligations will cost you pence, a discrimination case against you could cost you a great deal more.
You don't need to be afraid of the DDA www.access-auditing.com
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Robin is him self a disabled person as well as a qualified Disability Discrimination Act access auditor.