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Disability Discrimination Acts (Departmental Policy)

Volume 450: debated on Monday 16 October 2006

8. What assessment he has made of the compatibility of his Department’s communications and computer policy with the Disability Discrimination Acts. (93405)

The Department’s public information policy contains accessibility guidelines to ensure that the Department meets its obligations under disability discrimination legislation. It produces written information in a number of accessible formats such as Braille, audio and large print.

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply, but will she take a close look at what is happening with the jobcentre in Stoke-on-Trent? People with dyslexia are asking to be kept in touch with the Department either by e-mail or phone, but they are still getting the same letters churned out by the central computer. When the disability equality scheme comes into effect on 4 December, will she make sure that those concerns are fully addressed by Government?

I thank my hon. Friend for her supplementary question. I know that she does a lot of hard work in her constituency on disability issues. The Department is fully committed to being an exemplar, both in the provision of online and telephony services to our disabled customers and as an employer. When we publish our diversity and equality action plans later this year, we will highlight where there is a requirement for review and improvement of our systems.