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The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) aims to end the discrimination which many disabled people face. This Act gives disabled people rights in the areas of:
The employment rights and first rights of access came into force on 2 December 1996; further rights of access came into force on the 1 October 1999; and the final rights of access came into force in October 2004.
From December 2006 new laws placed a duty on public bodies to promote disability equality. This affected all public bodies - from local councils to government departments, from universities to hospitals.
The Disability Equality Duty requires the public sector to actively promote disability equality, and is similar to the duty to promote race equality under the Race Relations Amendment Act.
This is a positive duty which builds in disability equality at the beginning of the process, rather than making adjustments at the end. It should bring about a shift from a legal framework which relies on individual disabled people complaining about discrimination to one in which the public sector becomes a proactive agent of change.
Key public bodies have been required to produce Disability Equality Schemes and action plans, and to report annually on the outcomes and improvements they have achieved through these actions.
Building Control are readily available to advise on access and facilities to new buildings and improvements to existing accommodation.
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