Welsh Businesses Largely Ignore Needs Of Deaf Patrons
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
November 12, 2004
CARDIFF, WALES--A recent poll by the Royal National Institute for Deaf People found that just 53 percent of Welsh businesses were aware of their requirements to accommodate deaf and hard-of-hearing people under the final provisions of the 1995 Disability Discrimination Act which came into force on October 1.
Still, a full 70 percent had done nothing to comply with the regulations.
Under those latest provisions, businesses can face criminal charges, fines or civil suits if they fail to be accessible.
The BBC reported that business educators in Wales said the law is too difficult to understand and the paperwork too cumbersome to deal with. They want disability groups to educate business owners on how they can become more accessible.
One disability right advocate speculated that the general public does not consider deafness as a disability.
"Deaf people are often not perceived as disabled people," said Les Clarke, chair of the 200-member Disability Alliance Blaenau Gwent.
The RNID has printed 340,000 business cards for deaf and hard-of-hearing people to hand out to businesses that are not following the law.
"Small firms 'risk court' over deaf" (BBC News)