This month Sefton Council is recognising that it is 25 years since the introduction of the Disability Discrimination Act (1995) and celebrating International Day of Persons with Disabilities on Thursday, 3rd December.
The Disability Discrimination Act was introduced in 1995 following years of protests and campaigning by disabled people.
At the time it was a ground-breaking piece of legislation that made a big change to the lives of many disabled people across the UK.
The Act made it illegal to discriminate against disabled people in relation to employment, the provision of goods and services, and education and transport.
It has since been replaced by the Equality Act 2010, which seeks to further strengthen the laws aimed at tackling discrimination and inequality.
Despite this legislation, people with disabilities still face discrimination and disadvantage in their daily lives, and Sefton Council is committed to working with them, the local community and partners to try and address this.
Thursday December 3, is International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD).
The celebration promotes the full and equal participation of persons with disabilities in all aspects of society.
Sefton Council is committed to supporting all disabled people in the Borough and seeks advice from people with disabilities to make sure its services and systems are accessible and suitable for their needs.
Working in close partnership with both disabled people and local groups that support people with disabilities, Sefton Council has:
- Developed its Accessible Communications Policy and reviewed how it shares information with people with different communication needs.
- Upgraded its website to include the ‘Recite Me’ software, which enables people to change to how information is presented to meet their needs including font size, colour of background, information read aloud and presented in different languages.
- Worked with people with disabilities across the Borough to create a short film that shows their experiences of the barriers that they face in their day-to-day lives.
- Developed a training package for Sefton Council staff on how they can make information more accessible to everyone. This has been supported by staff from across the Council volunteering to become Accessible Information Advocates.
Cllr Trish Hardy, Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “As we mark 25 years since the introduction of the Disability Discrimination Act and celebrate International Day of Persons with Disabilities, it is important to reaffirm our commitment to people with disabilities across Sefton.
“Sefton Council is proud to be a Disability Confident Employer and we have an equalities representative from the voluntary sector who ensures that people with disabilities have their voices heard and can take part in consultation and engagement activity in a way that meets their needs.
“We are constantly seeking feedback from people with all types of disabilities on how we can support them and improve our services to combat any inequalities or discrimination they may face in their daily lives.
“For example, as a result of feedback from children and young people with Special Educational Needs, and their parents and carers, we have worked with Sefton Parent Carers Forum to develop a ‘Preparing for Adulthood’ guide.
“If you want to find out more about what we offer and how we can help, or if you want to be a part of shaping our services, you can contact us at email@example.com
“You can also visit our website to read more about our services and find links to other local services and support groups.”
People can find out more about the Equality Act at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/equality-act-2010-guidance
More about International Day of Persons with Disabilities is available at https://www.un.org/en/observances/day-of-persons-with-disabilitieshttps://idpwd.org/