Abstracts: August 7th, 2006

sThis report from the Department for Communities and Local Government sets out research findings on the implementation of the Disability Discrimination Act by local councils.Most councils were viewed as doing well on providing physical access to buildings. But over one third were scored as performing poorly in this area. On consultation and partnership, local disability organisations said that they had been involved, but they were often critical of councils’ approach,particularly the failure to provide accessible venues and information. A range of barriers were identified by respondents which in their view councils need to address in order to achieve successful partnerships with disability organisations.

The findings relating to case studies revealed concern that local authorities were not equipped to deliver the disability equality agenda which was envisaged by the Act. There were also difficulties in mainstreaming disability equality and in achieving a joined up approach across the whole authority. Elected members tended to be disengaged from disability equality issues, and relied on officers to bring issues to their attention.

All of the councils involved in the case studies had strategies in place to achieve change in terms of disability equality. But a strategic approach to disability equality tended to be absent. Instead, authorities relied on individual officers’ commitment to the agenda in order to achieve the necessary changes. Disabled people who were involved in the research fe that the authorities concerned tended to be reactive rather than proactive.
The report is available at:
http://www.communities.gov.uk/pub/797/AbleAuthoritiesExecutiveSummary_id1501
797.pdf

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