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Disability Discrimination Act comes into force

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The third phase of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) came into force today and means the UK’s 10 million disabled people now have greater rights on the high street and in the workplace.

The new legislation means that service providers and businesses must take reasonable steps to tackle the barriers which make access difficult for disabled people.

"Around one person in six is disabled and will benefit from the protection offered by this landmark piece of legislation,” said Alan Johnson, secretary of state for work and pensions.

“I am proud that these new duties have come into effect and that from now on disabled people can expect even greater rights in employment and on the high street. "

Maria Eagle, minister for disabled people, added that it was in business’s interests to comply with the act.

"The spending power of this country's disabled population is £50 billion, so it makes sense to cater for their needs – and from today legal action can be taken if you don't," she said.

“By taking early action to improve accessibility, many businesses have already benefited from a wider customer-base.”

To coincide with the introduction of phase III of the DDA, the English Federation of Disability Sport also launched the first nine sports facilities under its Inclusive Fitness Initiative today.

The beginning of the £5m nationwide rollout of the scheme follows a successful £1m pilot programme which has taken place over the past year.

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The third phase of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) came into force today and means the UK’s 10 million disabled people now have greater rights on the high street and in the workplace.
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