Blind World Magazine

New provisions to improve public access for disabled.

August 07, 2005.
The Irish Independent.

THE launch of new provisions of the Disability Act 2005 was announced by the Minister of State at the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform Mr Frank Fahey yesterday. The provisions are intended to improve access to employment and information in the public area.

The provisions, which will ensure accessibility to public bodies and Government departments, came after a year of careful deliberations between political figures and disability groups.

Under the new provisions of the Act, Government departments and public-sector bodies will be required to make all mainstream public services accessible to people with disabilities before the end of this year.

This will include making relevant information available in accessible formats such as Braille, large print or electronic text.

The provisions will also ensure statutory targets for the employment of people with disabilities in the public service area, with all Government departments and public bodies required to achieve a 3pc target for the employment of people with disabilities.

The National Disability Authority (NDA) will have responsibility for monitoring and reporting on overall compliance in regards to these new targets.

Angela Kerins, chairperson of the NDA, said the Authority now needs to establish a process to monitor the provisions.

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