These are the 4 steps that will facilitate compliance with the act:
- Perform an audit of the clinic and create your action plan and policy for the access to your services. This is done by registering with ClinicAccess.net.
- Plan reasonable adjustments to your facility and services. Note that these do not have to be done all at once. Easy adjustments such as providing Braille versions of clinic information should be done immediately, redecorating or other building projects should be planned when other work is planned for you clinic.
- Hold staff training session refereeing to the policy and action plan that is created by ClinicAccess.net.
- Review your action plan and policy on a regular basis using ClinicAccess.net and re-train your team.
The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) makes it unlawful to discriminate against disabled people in the areas of employment, access to goods and services.
All service providers including clinic owners have duties under the Act. These have been introduced in three phases.
Since December 1996, it has been unlawful to refuse to serve a disabled person, offer a lower standard of service or provide a service on worse terms to a disabled person for a reason related to his/her disability.
Since October 1999, service providers have had to make reasonable adjustments in the way they provide service to disabled people including changing policies and procedures, providing an auxiliary aid/service or a reasonable alternative method of service.
From October 2004, service providers have to make reasonable adjustments to the physical features of their premises to overcome physical barriers to access. This can be done by removing the feature, altering it, providing a reasonable means of avoiding the feature, or providing a reasonable alternative method of making the service available to disabled people.
What is a 'reasonable adjustment' depends on circumstances, practicality, resources, financial availability, situation, type of property, size of clinic, planning permission etc. The main aim of the adjustments is to ensure that as many disabled customers as possible can access your services.
Clinics should undergo an access audit of their premises to identify access difficulties and the extent/feasibility of any remedial adjustments (ClinicAccess.net).
It is good practice to:
- Ensure that all staff are aware that it is unlawful to discriminate against disabled people.
- Establish a policy on dealing with disabled people and ensure all staff are aware of it - produced by ClinicAccess.net.
- Provide all staff with disability awareness training and monitor its implementation.
- Have an appropriate complaints procedure.
All employees are individually responsible for complying with the law. However, action could be taken against an employer if his/her employee has broken the law even if the employer was unaware or did not approve of the employee's actions. To avoid it an employer needs to prove that reasonably practicable steps have been taken to prevent the employees from discriminating
As with all commercial documents it is essential that the specific circumstances
written in general terms only and you should obtain independent professional
advice on your particular circumstances before taking any action or using any
management information. This web page is prepared by CODE and Frankham Consultancy
Group and it does not constitute legal advice. CODE and Frankahm Consultancy
Group do not accept any liability for any loss or claim that may arise from
reliance on information this web page contains.