The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) – Are UK businesses getting it right?

The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) aims to end the discrimination that many disabled people face. It gives disabled people important rights of access to employment opportunities and everyday services that others take for granted.

Changes to the DDA mean that from this date anyone providing a service has to address those physical features which make it difficult for people with disabilities to use their services. Ensuring compliance with the spirit of the act does, however, mean doing more than just conforming to the requirement to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to the physical environment.

To create a welcoming and supportive environment for both customers and employees with disabilities also means engaging with the person who is disabled, rather than the disability, and overcoming psycho-social as well as physical barriers to access.

In collaboration with Zulfi Hussain, Lauriate’s Diversity specialist, I will be writing an article for publication in 2005 about how effective UK businesses have been in addressing the spirit of the DDA as opposed to simply ensuring that issues of basic physical access are covered. To this end, I would like to invite your support in finding Britain’s best and worst practices.

If you have a story that highlights either best or worst practice following the implementation of the DDA on October 1st, 2004 and are willing to share this with us please send it to pauline.willis@lauriate.com. And if you are providing a story that is an example of worst practice, please also tell us how a similar situation could be handled more appropriately.

All contributions will be held in strictest confidence any details that could identify the contributors will be removed to ensure anonymity.

Many thanks & look forward to reading your stories over the next few months!
Pauline Willis