71% of disabled people are unlikely to pursue legal action against inaccessible services, survey finds
That’s according to a new YouGov survey, commissioned by disability charity Leonard Cheshire, which has revealed the extent to which disabled people trust the effectiveness of powers under the Equality Act 2010.
Under the Equality Act, which took full effect in October 2010, a service provider has a duty to make reasonable adjustments to ensure anyone can access their services. This includes making physical adjustments as well as making adjustments to any policies and procedures that could put disabled people at a disadvantage.
However, a new survey, which polled over 2,000 adults with a long-term health condition or disability, found that 71 percent of disabled people are unlikely to use the courts to challenge inaccessibility in their communities, despite experiencing widespread problems.
Additionally, nearly one-quarter of disabled adults polled said they experienced difficulties accessing key services where they live – such as GP surgeries, restaurants, supermarkets and sporting venues – in 2018/19.
These figures suggest disabled people doubt the powers under the Equality Act 2010 nearly one decade after the Act was passed by the UK Government.
Cost, time and confidence in the legal process were all outlined as deterrents for disabled adults who would not be likely to take action when it comes to holding establishments to account for their commitments to accessibility.
“I could not afford to bring legal action against a venue and, if the process became drawn out, I would be concerned about how my mental health would be affected,” one respondent explained.
One person surveyed felt it would be “too much trouble for too little result”, while another echoed these sentiments saying it would be “too much hassle and I doubt it would make any difference.”
As the UK Government looks to reopen pubs and restaurants in late June, as well as ease shielding guidelines for clinically extremely vulnerable people from the 6th of July, Leonard Cheshire says inaccessible facilities could risk isolating the disabled community further.
Talking about changes that need to be made to address this issue, Gemma Hope, Director of Policy at Leonard Cheshire, said: “Time and time again disabled people are made to feel like less valuable members of society, with a lack of access to local amenities threatening their independence and leading to feelings of isolation. No one should feel like they don’t have the freedom to visit their local doctor, supermarket or even pub.
“While pursuing legal action is an option, it really shouldn’t even have to get to that point. As government begins to make plans to come out of lockdown, disabled people must not be excluded from key services and facilities. We’ve worked with hundreds of organisations to make their practices inclusive. Others must up their game to make accessibility their priority.”https://thiis.co.uk/71-of-disabled-people-are-unlikely-to-pursue-legal-action-against-inaccessible-services-survey-finds/https://i2.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/wheelchair-shop.jpg?fit=1000%2C500&ssl=1https://i2.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/wheelchair-shop.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1NewsroomReports & ResearchSector Newsaccessible services,disability act,disability policy,disability survey,disabled people,Equality Act,Equality Act 2010,Leonard Cheshire,YouGovThat’s according to a new YouGov survey, commissioned by disability charity Leonard Cheshire, which has revealed the extent to which disabled people trust the effectiveness of powers under the Equality Act 2010. Under the Equality Act, which took full effect in October 2010, a service provider has a duty to...Sarah SarsbySarah Sarsbysarah@thiis.co.ukAdministratorTHIIS Magazine