Disability Equality Scheme

The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA)1995 amended by the Disability Discrimination Act 2005, places a statutory General Duty on all public authorities to promote disability equality. Disability equality is about making things fairer for disabled people.

The new General Duty means that we must, in carrying out our functions, have due regard to the need to:

• eliminate discrimination that is unlawful under the Act (e.g. are disabled people being treated less fairly than others because of practices that act as barriers?);

• promote equality of opportunity between disabled people and non-disabled people(e.g. do disabled people have the same chances in accessing services and employment as others?);

• eliminate harassment of disabled people that is related to their disabilities (e.g. is there evidence of disability related hate crime or bullying?);

• promote positive attitudes towards disabled people (e.g. challenge and eradicate negative stereotypes.);

• encourage participation by disabled people in public life (e.g. is there fair representation of disabled people on focus groups?);

• take steps to take account of disabled people's needs in our services and employment, even where that involves treating disabled people more favourably than other people. (e.g. do our services meet the needs of disabled people?

"Due regard" means that authorities should give due weight to the need to promote disability equality in proportion to its relevance to disability.

The Duty covers all functions and activities, not just employment and service delivery, but also budget setting, procurement, regulatory functions and setting the framework within which the organization will deliver services. This places a positive, proactive responsibility on authorities to work towards a more equal society by thinking about the needs of disabled people when developing their services and functions, rather than making adjustments at the end.

In order for the Council to meet the requirements of the General Duty, the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 imposes a number of specific statutory duties. The specific duties are:

• to publish a Disability Equality Scheme by 4th December 2006 with a three year action plan;

• to show how disabled people have been involved in developing the scheme;

• to develop methods for assessing the impact of its policies and practices, or the likely impact of its proposed policies and practices on disabled people;

• to set out arrangements for gathering information on the effect of its policies and practices on disabled people;

• to monitor, check and report annually on the steps it has taken to meet the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act 2005.

Cannock Chase Council's DES meets these requirements and contributes towards our aim of promoting good equalities practices across the district and ensures that we will meet the needs of our disabled customers and employees.

This Scheme sets out our overall objectives for improving and addressing disability inequalities and action plans for delivering improvements to access and services. It will therefore help us to achieve a number of things to:

• meet the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 and set out our plans to improve disability equality to employment and services;

• make sure that we are taking the needs and views of disabled people into account, for example to find out what barriers are faced by disabled people and take steps to remove them;

• continuously monitor, review and improve the ways in which we deliver our services to disabled people;

• work in partnership with other disability organizations to prevent ignorance and prejudice in the wider community;

• create a district where disabled people are afforded the same opportunities as the broader community.

Our DES sets out the framework within which we can achieve this and the following objectives are intended to support and compliment this framework:

Objective 1 - We will promote equality for disabled people by:

• Removing barriers to accessibility, particularly in relation to access to services, information, buildings, and employment;

• Encouraging good practice in the private sector through our advisory capacity;

Objective 2 - We will tackle discrimination against disabled people by:

• Promoting positive images of disabled people;

• Challenging patronizing or discriminating attitudes;

• Making the environment as safe as possible for disabled people;

• Challenging anti-social behaviour against, or harassment of, disabled people.

Objective 3 - We will support disabled people to achieve their full potential by:

• Supporting disabled people according to their individual needs to enable them to lead independent lives;

• Supporting the formation of groups, networks and services for disabled people as service users, residents and employees of the Council.

Objective 4 - We will work in partnership with disabled people by:

• Involving disabled people in the changes and improvements we make;

• Enabling disabled people's active participation;

• Involving and consulting with disabled people on issues that affect them.

How to get involved?

Want to have your say about what really matters to people with disabilities? Now is your chance. We are committed to making sure that our services, our jobs and our information are fully accessible and inclusive for all.

Listening to you

In order for us to succeed we must, of course, involve the people who really matter. Service users, customers, employees and members of the community - anyone who has something to say about disability equality needs to get involved, to make sure that our Disability Equality Scheme reflects what people really want and need.

View Our Disability Equality Scheme.

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