Disabled document greeted by protests

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THE GOVERNMENT yesterday produced its promised consultation document on discrimination against the disabled to protests from disability organisations, writes Nicholas Timmins.

Nicholas Scott, Minister for Disabled People, announced his move on the day that the Civil Rights (Disabled Persons) Bill, which the Government killed off by drafting a raft of amendments for backbenchers, finally ran out of parliamentary time.

The paper suggests replacing the increasingly 'unworkable' employment quota, which requires employers of more than 20 people to take on at least 3 per cent of registered disabled, with a new right not to be unjustifiably discriminated against.

New building design requirements, a new advisory body, and a measure to make it unlawful to treat disabled people unfavourably in providing goods and services are also proposed.

Mr Scott said that would rule out discrimination in areas including access to public places, travel facilities and restaurants, except where existing physical barriers prevented access.

The Royal National Institute for the Deaf said discrimination 'must be tackled by concrete legislation'.