National deafblind charity is calling on the Government to urgently address the barriers preventing equality for disabled people.
National deafblind charity, Sense, has raised concerns over the findings of today’s report into discrimination against disabled people by the House of Lords.
The report found that despite the Equality Act, disabled people still face daily barriers to living an independent life, with access to transport and public buildings cited as key concern.
Sense submitted evidence to the report that showed in spite of progress to equality, deafblind people are still facing discrimination on a daily basis, including being asked to leave restaurants or shops because of guide dogs or not receiving information in accessible formats.
The charity is now calling on the Government to be proactive in implementing the strategic steps needed to advance equality for disabled people, commit resources to breaking down barriers and raise awareness of the duties designed to enable disabled people to participate in society.
Richard Kramer, Deputy Chief Executive for deafblind charity Sense, said:
“We’re deeply concerned by the findings of the Lords’ report; however, it sadly doesn’t come as a surprise.
Sense consistently receives feedback from the deafblind people that we work with that there are still huge barriers preventing them from living independently and playing an active part in their community. A recent inquiry by Sense revealed that one in two disabled children have been turned away from play settings and activities. We know that disabled people are being refused access to transport, struggling to enter public buildings or losing jobs because of lack of appropriate support.
It’s unacceptable that despite the Equality Act, disabled people are still experiencing multiple counts of discrimination in their everyday lives. Currently, the onus appears to be on disabled people to fight for their rights through the courts, when they just want to live a normal life like everybody else.
Equality shouldn’t be seen as a red tape issue, it is an opportunity to increase life chances for disabled people. The Government must act on their duties and urgently look at why the Equality Act isn’t working for disabled people. It’s time for them to accept the current failings and make a serious commitment to begin breaking down the barriers that are preventing disabled people from participating in society.”