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Businesses Have One Year To Comply With Disability Law, Minister Warns
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
October 1, 2003

LONDON, ENGLAND--Disability minister Maria Eagle is reminding businesses that they have one year to comply with the United Kingdom's 1995 Disability Discrimination Act, or face possible court action.

For the past 8 years, businesses have known that they were to be accessible to people with disabilities by October 1, 2004, the date for the final phase of the DDA. The first phase in 1996 dealt with discriminatory treatment of people with disabilities. The second phase, in 1999, called on businesses to make "reasonable adjustments" for employees and customers with disabilities. The final phase requires businesses, regardless of their size, to eliminate physical barriers to inclusion.

"It [the DDA] has been implemented gradually," Eagle told the BBC. "Money's not everything -- more often it's about thinking what's needed and spending money in a wiser way."

Where should businesses go for advice on how to make their facilities more accessible?

"Ask your own disabled employees - and if you don't have any, why not?" Eagle asked.

Related:
"'Wise up' warns disability minister" (BBC News)
"Q and A: The Disability Discrimination Act explained" (BBC News)

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