Disablement discrimination Bill
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New Government legislation which aims to end discrimination against disabled people has been warmly welcomed by voluntary organisation Arthritis Care.
As the Disability Discrimination Bill enters its final Parliamentary stage today (Mar 23), the organsation’s acting chief executive, Neil Betteridge, described its passage through the House of Commons as a ‘watershed moment in the long struggle for the social equality and civil rights of disabled people.’
Mr Betteridge added: ‘Of course, much needed amendments to the Disability Discrimination Act will not makes things perfect overnight, and there are still issues which will remain under discussion. But this new legislation is fundamental to enshrining the civil rights of disabled people in law, it represents a truly significant and historic step forward.’
Care is the
Ensuring public access to public transport for disabled people is made an integral part of the new bill has been particularly welcomed by Mr Betteridge, who is also chair of the Government’s Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Group.
‘Guaranteeing the rights of disabled people to access to public transport is a pivotal step towards achieving social inclusion, ‘ said Mr Betteridge. ‘The Government’s decision to include provisions to address current problems in this area are crucial to achieving equality for disabled people.’
Arthritis Care had
expressed concern that the existing Disability Discrimination Act did
not include access to public transport. For example, under current
legislation a bus driver can deny access to a disabled person. Arthritis
Care welcomes the removal of this exemption in the new bill.