sector to deliver a programme of real change to make the rights of
disabled people a top priority.
Disabled People, Ms Eagle said that the public sector had a
responsibility to lead the way in rights and attitudes.
'The public sector has a key role to play in making sure that the
rights and opportunities of disabled people are not ignored. I want
to see a real commitment from them to lead the way both as an
employer and as a service provider.
'This consultation is vital if the public sector is to champion the
rights of disabled people and I want everyone working within or
outside the public sector to tell us what they think. This is why we
will be holding public events for people to get involved in.
'Discrimination has no place in modern society. In the same way that
the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 introduced the need to
eliminate racial discrimination, this measure is part of a package
from the government to stamp out discrimination for Britain's 10
million disabled people'.
As part of the recommendations of the Draft Disability Discrimination
Bill, public bodies will be under a new duty to promote equality of
opportunity for disabled people as well as making sure they do not
discriminate when carrying out public functions.
Major organisations delivering important public services such as
health and education will be required to publish and implement a plan
setting out how they will improve the way they deal with disabled
1. The consultation document Delivering Equality for Disabled People
can be obtained from www.tso.co.uk (Cm6255 ISBN:0101625529) and will
shortly be available from the DWP website.
2. The document explains how the government expects two key measures
in the draft Disability Discrimination Bill to work in practice, the
extension of the DDA to cover public functions; and the introduction
of the duty to promote equality.
3. The consultation document sets out what the government expects to
require public authorities to include within their Disability
Equality Scheme - which is the plan they will be required to publish
- a list of the actions the authority intends to take to promote
- a list of the measures the authority intends to monitor in order to
assess whether it is making progress towards equality of
opportunity for disabled people
4. The measures are closely related to the reforms introduced by the
Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000, which implemented the
recommendations of the Macpherson inquiry into the death of Stephen
5. Before the new duties are implemented, the Disability Rights
Commission will publish guidance to public authorities to help them
comply with the duty. The information gathered in this consultation
will enable the Disability Rights Commission to ensure that their
guidance meets the needs of public authorities.
6. Members of the public, people working in the public sector, and
anyone else with an interest can comment on the proposals either in
writing, or at a series of public events. The consultation period
ends on 21 October 2004.
Details of remaining events, which will take place in other major
cities, will appear on www.disability.gov.uk or can be obtained from
7. The Draft Disability Discrimination Bill was published on 3rd
December 2003. The draft bill has been through pre legislative
scrutiny and the government's response to the report of the joint
committee can be found at
8. The government intends to enact the Bill within this parliament.