British Commission: One-Half Of Accessibility Complaints Concern
Leisure And Retail
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
October 3, 2005
LONDON, ENGLAND--On October 1, 2004 the final provisions in the Disability Discrimination Act of 1995 came into effect. Among other things, the provisions require retail and leisure businesses to be more accessible to people with disabilities.
The law also allows those who believe they have been victims of discrimination to take those businesses to court.
In a September 30 press release, the Disability Rights Commission revealed that it has received 1,500 complaints regarding accessibility problems in the year since the provisions became law. More than one-half of those complaints concerned the leisure and retail industries, which include stores, shops, restaurants, cinemas, theaters, gyms, pubs, sports facilities and hotels.
The problem cited the most often was the lack of accessible toilets, followed by the lack of ramps and accessible parking. Poor staff attitudes toward patrons with disabilities were also common.
"Disabled people are rarely seen in pubs, shops, restaurants and clubs," said DRC Chairman Bert Massie. "The reason? Too many high streets still appear to have a sign up that says 'disabled people are not welcome here'."
"The result is the social segregation of disabled people from everyone else on a grand scale."
The DRC noted that it has investigated more than 40 cases where people with disabilities received poor service in the past year, and that 80 percent of those were resolved positively.
Press release: "DRC pledges to get tough on access offenders on the high street"(Disability Rights Commission)