Event to focus on disability law

DELEGATES from football stadiums, airports and supermarket chains, as well as high-profile stores such as Harrods and Debenhams, are set to attend a conference organised by a disabled access campaigner from Suffolk.

DELEGATES from football stadiums, airports and supermarket chains, as well as high-profile stores such as Harrods and Debenhams, are set to attend a conference organised by a disabled access campaigner from Suffolk.

The Access in Safety Conference, which is fully booked, takes place at the Park Hotel, Diss, on Friday, October 13, and will discuss health and safety rules in relation to the Disability Rights Act, and how to ensure companies are covered under existing laws.

Michael Flounders, of Fressingfield, near Eye, became a wheelchair user after he suffered a broken neck in a freak accident some years ago. He was playing in his garden with his children at the time. Since then, he has tried to highlight disabled rights issues.

“The disability act states that service providers should make reasonable adjustments to make their service available to people with disabilities both in terms of access to service and premises,” he explained.

“Major concerns for service providers have always been what is considered reasonable. Often after carrying out an audit on their premises they could still find themselves liable for prosecution if the audit carried out does not go far enough to cater for some levels of disability.”

Mr Flounders said his research had shown that the 1974 Health and Safety Act enforces in some areas the Disability Rights Act.

Most Read

“Often we forget that many service providers support charities and I feel in view of the confusion over the Health and Safety/Disability Discrimination Act laws, it's a chance for disability to support the service providers, helping them create a safer, accessible community.

“Highlighting this issue has prompted some companies to sponsor me in organising a conference based on disability access in safety to make companies aware of the areas of concern.”

The event is sponsored by Somerfield, Roma Trolley, Stocksigns, contacta induction loops, configure auditing and new concept.