Businesses must adapt to accommodate disabilities

first_imgBusinesseshave been given a fresh warning about ignoring the requirements of newdisability equality laws that come into effect in less than 10 days.Thethird phase of the 1995 Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) becomes law on 1October. It requires all business and service providers to make reasonablechanges – such as adapting prem-ises,removing physical barriers or providing the service another way – to ensurethey are accessible to the 10 million people in the UKwith some form of disability.TheDisability Rights Commission (DRC) is warningbusinesses they could face an upsurge in activism among disabled people, whilea recent NOP poll showed that 70 per cent of disabled people had difficultiesbuying goods or receiving a service. Penalties for failing to comply with theDDA include potential fines of up to £50,000, and unlimited fines if foundguilty of discrimination at an employment tribunal.TheDepartment for Work and Pensions said it was vital that employers consideredtheir staff’s knowledge and attitude, as front-line staff will often be adisabled customer’s only point of contact with the business. Itsaid supplying something as simple as pens and paper could help staffcommunicate with deaf or hearing-impaired customers.CatherineCasserley, seniorlegislative adviser for the DRC, said there would be nowhere to hide forbusinesses that have not made or planned improvements.Anothersurvey reveals that firms are still not ready to offer equality of service todisabled people, despite the Government’s campaign to promote awareness. Researchamong 800 managers by consultancy firm Workplace Law suggests the majoritybelieve that they are doing a better job than they are.Itsaid that while many managers are aware of the deadline, a large number seem tohave paid little attention to non-physical disabilities such as visual andhearing impairments, dyslexia and learning difficulties.Thestudy also reveals that while the deadline has helped to focus employers’attention on the requirements to provide an inclusive service, some of theprevious duties of the Act – relating to employing disabled people – seem tohave been forgotten.DavidSharp, managing director of  Workplace Law, said:”While the majority of businesses have taken positive steps to make theirworkplaces accessible, we wonder whether the message about service has reallybeen understood. “There’sno point in changing your building if you don’t change the attitudes of thepeople who work in it,” he said. “That’s where the challenge of thenext three years will lie – especially with a new Disability Bill on thehorizon.”LewisSidnick, policy adviser atthe British Chambers of Com-merce,said that being accessible did not have to be expensive. “Fromdisability awareness training for staff, to changing door handles, there are anumber of simple changes that you can make,” he said.Itis estimated that more than two million businesses, including hotels, restaurants,cinemas, dental surgeries and health clubs will be affected by the changes.www.drc-gb.orgDDA – top 10 tips for employers–  Understand disability – not all impairmentsare visible–Diversity policy – develop adiversity policy and implement it–Ensure good practice in recruitment – think about using the disability press towiden your pool of applicants. Consider making application forms available inalternative formats, such as large print or Braille–Pre-interview questioning – ask whether anyone has any specific requirements sothat you can make adequate preparations before the recruitment interview –Staff training – consider disability awareness training for all your staff–Audit your premises – changes made could be as simple as lowering lightswitches, or redecorating to provide better contrast for someone with a visualimpairment–Modify equipment – you might have to provide special equipment, such as anadapted keyboard for someone with arthritis–Plan ahead – if you are planning to make a change, making reasonableadjustments at an early stage could prove cost-effective in the long run–Be flexible – allow flexible working where possible, time off work for medicaltreatment, and phase people back into work following illness–Be fair – you should not require more of a disabled person in relation toperformance or conduct than you would require of anyone elseSource:Department for Work and PensionsBy Mike Berry  Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Businesses must adapt to accommodate disabilitiesOn 21 Sep 2004 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

Million-dollar beach home for $10

first_img63 Mudjimba Esplanade, Mudjimba, Sunshine CoastAmong the dream home’s features was a large plunge pool with rock face water feature. It overlooks a covered gazebo for outdoor dining and luxury barbecue kitchen with drinks fridge.The home also has a courtyard lounge complete with fire pit and fish pond. Endeavour Foundation’s next prize home on the Sunshine CoastTHIS million dollar home at Mudjimba on the Sunshine Coast is up for grabs for $10 as the next prize home to come out of Queensland.The resort-style home on millionaire’s row was bought by the Endeavour Foundation for its Beachfront Lifestyle Lottery, with funds going towards helping people with a disability. Endeavour Foundation’s next prize home on the Sunshine Coast“Ultimately, this beautiful home will help someone with a disability create a home of their own, pursuing the real possibilities within their own lives”.The prize home opened for viewing Friday February 3 with tickets available until March 22. 63 Mudjimba Esplanade, Mudjimba, Sunshine Coast.Now valued at over $1.1 million, the home at 63 Mudjimba Esplanade, Mudjimba, has three bedrooms, one study, two full baths and is less than 100 metres from the beach.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home3 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor9 hours ago“The prize home personifies relaxed coastal living,” according to the foundation, with the property suitable for both a holiday retreat or a permanent beachside home. Endeavour Foundation’s next prize home on the Sunshine CoastEndeavour Foundation executive general manager of supporter enterprises, Andrew Thomas, said the lotteries helped fund the At Home With Choices program, which builds modern, accessible houses to give people with a disability more choices about where they live.last_img read more

Testosterone Rules Put Semenya in Cooler

first_imgThe new rules aim to restrict the levels of testosterone in female runners.They will apply to women in track events from 400m up to the mile and require that athletes have to keep their testosterone levels below a prescribed amount “for at least six months prior to competing”.So the delay means female athletes with high testosterone – of whom South African Semenya is the most notable – will not be allowed to run for six months from the date the rule changes come in.That would take them to 26 September – just one day before the 2019 World Athletics Championships begin in Doha.Semenya, and Athletics South Africa (ASA), are challenging the rules at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).IAAF Health and Science department director Stephane Bermon said the governing body recognised the five-month shift “could result in affected athletes having to sit out the bulk of the outdoor season leading up to the World Championships, including international competitions such as the Diamond League, which begin in May 2019”.The IAAF’s proposed rule would mean some female runners with naturally high testosterone levels would have to race against men or change events, unless they took medication to control their levels.IAAF President Sebastian Coe said Semenya and ASA had agreed on the delay as part of a deal to get the legal case settled as quickly as possible.“We have agreed not to enforce the regulations against any athlete until the contested regulations are upheld,” he added.“In exchange, they have agreed not to prolong the process. All athletes need this situation resolved as soon as possible.”In a statement, the IAAF added it “remains very confident of the legal, scientific and ethical bases for the regulations, and therefore fully expects the Court of Arbitration for Sport to reject these challenges”.ASA said it was “very pleased” with a decision that meant the changes were “effectively suspended pending the outcome of the appeal”.It says the rules will have a “discriminatory effect on female athletes like Semenya” and believes “the medical data relied upon by the IAAF is flawed”.Semenya, a two-time Olympic champion and three-time world champion, has previously been asked to undertake gender testing by athletics chiefs, but no results have officially been made public.“It is not fair. I just want to run naturally, the way I was born,” said the 27-year-old South African recently.Testosterone is a hormone that increases muscle mass, strength and haemoglobin, which affects endurance.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Caster Semenya World and Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya’s battle to stop a rule change affecting female athletes with high testosterone levels could see her miss “the bulk” of the 2019 outdoor season.Athletics governing body the IAAF intended to bring in the new rules on 1 November but has put that back to 26 March 2019.It wants to wait for the outcome of a legal challenge from Semenya first.last_img read more