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Work to implement Disability Discrimination Act continues with guide for small businesses

Monday, 18 July 2016

Work by the Department of Health and Social Care to implement the Disability Discrimination Act 2006 (DDA) is continuing, with the publication of a new guide for small businesses.

To assist service providers the Department has prepared a simple and easy to read guide to the DDA, based on a similar document in use in the UK prior to 2010, which contains advice and a list of contacts and resources. 

From 15 December 2016 it will be unlawful for a provider of services to discriminate against a disabled person in how goods, facilities and services are provided and in the disposal or management of premises.  

Tynwald approved a guidance document at its May 2016 sitting which details what is meant by a disability for the purposes of the legislation.  Only those persons who are disabled within the meaning of the DDA will be protected.  In most cases there is unlikely to be any doubt whether a person has or has had a disability, but the guidance should prove helpful in cases where the matter is not particularly clear. 

At the same sitting a code of practice was laid before Tynwald which gives practical guidance to help providers and property owners comply with the DDA by preventing discrimination against disabled persons in accessing services and premises and encouraging good practice.  The document also explains what is meant by the duty to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to a service or access to premises.

In December 2015 Tynwald approved an Order to bring the DDA into force, in stages, with the final phase commencing in January 2020.  This approach has been taken to give service providers and property owners time to make any reasonable adjustments to comply with the legislation. 

The documents are available at www.gov.im/dhsc.

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