Pubs Not Ready For October Accessibility Deadline
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
January 29, 2004
LONDON, ENGLAND--A recent report for the pub industry found that 48 percent of public houses licensed in England had done nothing to make their facilities accessible to patrons with disabilities.
This in spite of the fact that the 1995 Disability Discrimination Act gave public houses until this coming October 1 to comply.
"I don't think the government is entitled to say pubs have no excuse for non-compliance," Andrew Crooks, a campaigner with the disability rights charity Scope, told ThePublican.com. "The government says the right things but what is it actually doing to raise awareness among small businesses?"
An industry spokesperson said that the real problem is that licensees don't know what disabilities exist that they must accommodate.
"Someone was recently fined £8,000 for not serving a group of people with learning difficulties," said Tony Payne, chief executive of the Federation of Licensed Victuallers Associations. "So the message needs to be spread to publicans, perhaps even by disabled people as well.
Scope plans to launch a campaign in May to help licensees get ready for the October DDA deadline. The campaign, called "Free 2 Pee", will focus on making restrooms accessible to people with disabilities.
"Charity slams government for lack of DDA help for pubs" (The Publican)