Disability coalition claims campaigning success

Katherine Demopoulos

An alliance of disability charities is claiming victory in helping to secure rights for disabled people and a duty on local authorities to promote equality for disabled people.

The Disability Charities Consortium, which includes Mind, Leonard Cheshire, Mencap, Radar, the RNIB, the RNID and Scope, says its lobbying brought changes to the Disability Discrimination Act 2005, including the announcement of an earlier deadline by which train operators must provide disabled access. The Act was passed last week.

Train operators had proposed 2035 as their deadline, but the DCC called for 2017 and was supported by the Transport Select Committee and Joint Committee. The Government finally moved the deadline forward from 2025 to 2020.

Brian Lamb, RNID director of communications, said the duty imposed on local authorities and the corollary power to spend would be hugely significant in reducing prejudice. An equivalent duty in race relations law saw local authorities become significantly more proactive, he added.

The DCC has also claimed some success in ensuring that schools were included in the legislation.

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