Access for the disabled
Despite many improvements over the years with more awareness of disabled peoples needs those impaired by disability still have trouble accessing certain places. Examples of this are shops, libraries and restaurants.
There is a law in place however that governs your rights to access; the disability discrimination act states that places have to make reasonable changes to make access better for disabled people.
What does making reasonable changes mean?
This means that people providing services such as restaurants, shops and library’s now have to:
* Change any procedure, policy or practise that makes it difficult for disabled people to access their services, for example a no dog policy must be changed for those who are blind and have guide dogs or lowering pavements to allow easy wheelchair access.
* Provide aids or services to improve the disabled person’s use of a service, for example providing a sign language interpreter for public meetings where deaf people may be present.
* Changing physical features such as widening doorways that may prevent a person using a wheelchair from gaining access to a building.
Buying and renting property
There are laws in place to help disabled people renting and buying property, it is against the law for a landlord to treat a disabled person differently than any able bodied person. There is a buildings regulation act in place to ensure health and safety in all types of buildings.
If you are renting property and you become disabled then your landlord has to make provisions for your disability, this may include installing ramps for easier accessibility to the home and providing handrails alongside paths to the home.
Discrimination when buying or renting property
It is against the law to discriminate against you if you are disabled and you want to buy or let property. This means that a landlord cannot refuse to let you a property just because of your disability without a very good reason. An example of this would be if you were a HIV positive business person and you wanted to rent office space but the landlord refused you because of this.
It is against the law for someone managing property to discriminate against you by obstructing or restricting in anyway the use of facilities on the premises.
This means things like car parks or communal gardens; it is the landlord’s place to make sure you can gain access to these things by making reasonable adjustments. The only time that this is waived is when the landlord lives on the property him or herself.