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GOVERNMENT TO LEGISLATE FOR DISABILITY RIGHTS

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The government intends to introduce legislation to create a Disability Rights Commission fit for the 21st century -...
The government intends to introduce legislation to create a Disability Rights Commission fit for the 21st century - that was the message from Scottish business and industry minister Gus Macdonald. He also stressed that working in partnership was the key to an effective Disability Rights Commission (DRC).

The government is seeking views on their plans for a DRC to help enforce legislation and promote good practice, and the introduction of new rights for disabled people under the Disability Discrimination Act.

At a conference Mr Macdonald said: 'This government is committed to the elimination of discrimination against disabled people, working in partnership and consulting with all interested parties. A new body charged with working to eliminate discrimination will not of itself miraculously get rid of discrimination. But structured properly and used effectively it can help us create a new culture and a better set of values.

'Partnership - not confrontation - is the key to success. In carrying out its duties the DRC will seek to work with a wide range of organisations and networks which already have expertise in disability and business fields. 'We believe eliminating discrimination and building equal opportunities are fundamental to creating an inclusive society. Everyday life can be a minefield when you're surrounded by badly - designed buildings, thoughtlessly laid-out streets and unaware people.

'There is no doubt that disabled people do face inequality, day after day. It is to our shame that this situation has gone on so long. But this government is committed to change. We will continue working with all interested parties until we have found good, practical, sustainable solutions.'
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