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Disability Discrimination Act 1995: Implementation

Volume 590: debated on Tuesday 9 June 1998

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asked Her Majesty's Government:When they will implement the remaining provisions of Part III of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. [HL2204]

The Minister of State, Department for Education and Employment
(Baroness Blackstone)

We have decided to implement the remaining provisions of Part III of the Disability Discrimination Act in two stages.From October 1999, service providers will have to take reasonable steps to change practices, policies or procedures which make it impossible or unreasonably difficult for disabled people to use a service; provide auxiliary aids or services which would enable disabled people to use a service; and overcome physical barriers by providing a service by a reasonable alternative method.From 2004, service providers will have to take reasonable steps to remove, alter, or provide reasonable means of avoiding physical features that make it impossible or unreasonably difficult for disabled people to use a service.In reaching our decision on the timetable for implementation, we have taken full account of advice from the National Disability Council, from organisations of and for disabled people and from business. We have also considered the responses to the 1996 consultation exercise. My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Employment and Equal Opportunities has today written to the National Disability Council asking them to review the code of practice in order to take account of the new duties on service providers. I anticipate that public consultation on the council's revised code of practice and the Government's proposals for a small number of regulations under the Act will begin no later than the beginning of August 1998 and last for three months.We are also publishing today the analysis of the responses to the 1996 consultation exercise on the timetable for implementation. Copies have been placed in the Library.