It is the first time a report of this kind has been published by Welsh Ministers who have a legal duty to do so. The Discrimination Act 1995 states that every three years a report about the progress being made towards improving equality of opportunity for disabled people will be published. The Minister said that this report has identified that public authorities are making good progress in meeting their duties under the act.
Dr Gibbons said:
The disability equality duty is intended to improve the life chances of disabled people by placing a legal duty on all public sector organisations to promote equality of opportunity for disabled people. The information associated with this report means that we have gathered information from across the public sector, identifying progress, gaps and issues, which we are sharing widely to help make progress in tackling inequalities.
The aim of this report is to assess the extent to which public authorities have interpreted and acted upon the requirements set out in the Disability Equality Duty.
I am pleased to see that public authorities are also working to encourage good relations between disabled and non-disabled staff. They are also taking account of disabled people’s needs. There are some good examples such as making venues more accessible and providing information in appropriate formats.
We can’t be complacent. There are a number of recommendations within this report for action in the future. We are keen to work with disabled people, organisations and public authorities to implement these recommendations and to further improve equality of opportunity for disabled people in Wales.
1 December 2008