Parliament - Education: Schools to build access for disabled

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The Independent Online
SCHOOLS WILL be forced to make their buildings accessible to disabled people by law, the Government announced yesterday. David Blunkett, the Secretary of State for Education, said legislation would be brought forward in the new year to ensure schools made all "reasonable adjustments" to accommodate physically handicapped children.

A statutory code of practice will also cover colleges and universities to ensure that disabled people do not face discrimination.

Mr Blunkett's announcement, which included pounds 30m in grants to help to make school buildings more accessible, was in response to the final report of the Government's disability rights taskforce. Schools will have to install aids such as wheelchair ramps, or induction loop systems for the deaf, if children with disabilities apply. Further details will be published in the new year.

The reforms follow controversy over the Disability Discrimination Act, which gave disabled people access rights to many goods and services, but excluded education, public transport and some jobs.