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The Equality Act 2010 provides a legal framework that aims to protect individuals and groups, including disabled people, from discrimination.
It replaces the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) and subsequent amendments (except for UK related parts of the DDA for civil servants working in Northern Ireland).
Disability legislation has radically improved the rights of people with a disability and directed goods and service providers, employers and transport providers amongst others to adopt a proactive stance.
By guiding companies to be more inclusive today and strengthening the legal rights of individuals, a more inclusive society can grow year on year.
When considering your current and future policies, procedures and practices, seeking merely to comply is a high risk approach. Disability legislation requires organisations to be proactive and committed to making information available. For customers with a vision impairment it means having robust policies in the provision of alternative formats and having these policies communicated freely within an organisation. The Equality Act encourages organisations to make the provision of alternative formats readily accessible and not an inconvenient barrier to accessing goods and services.
Clear information is crucial to ensuring consumers are treated fairly, in particular where consumers do not take advice and must rely on the clarity of information when making decisions. The guidelines state, “a firm must pay due regard to the information needs of its clients and communicate information to them in a way that is clear, fair and not misleading.”
Further clarification of this outcome has included the provision of alternative formats being necessary to make information clear and accessible to consumers who have a vision impairment.