Anti-Discrimination Law Won't Force Buildings To Close, Minister
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
May 3, 2004
LONDON, ENGLAND--The government assured museums, theatres and historic buildings that they would not be shut down by the new Disability Discrimination Act when it comes into effect on October 10.
Maria Eagle, Junior Work and Pensions Minister, told the House of Commons last week that the legislation was designed to remove barriers to equal access for the 10 million people in the United Kingdom that have disabilities. She said that people who believed the law would force such facilities to close do not understand the law.
"The law does not require buildings to close, it requires access to services," she explained. "If there are buildings where access makes access to the service impossible, then arrangements should be made to make those services accessible in a different way."
"The law doesn't require anyone to close down because their building is not accessible."
Ministers are also working to close a loophole in the law which exempts private clubs from having to be accessible. Under new rules being drafted, clubs will have to make "reasonable" efforts to be accessible to members and non-members with disabilities.
"Clubland must change to help disabled people" (Times Online)