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A C Limited
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Canterbury Kent

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October News

DRC use Section 5 – Voluntary Binding Agreements to take forward the inclusion agenda

The DRC (Disability Rights Commission) have decided to explore one of their previously underused powers; the power to enter into voluntary binding (also known as Section 5) agreements.

These agreements commit people with duties under the Disability Discrimination Act to tackle disability discrimination detected by the DRC and to improve their services in specific areas.

In return, the commission agrees not to undertake enforcement action, such as a named-party formal investigation.

Section 5 agreements are voluntary yet binding contracts. The other party enters freely into the agreement, which then becomes compulsory, because it wants to:

  • avoid enforcement action
  • eliminate unlawful discrimination
  • lead change in its sector with the help of the DRC.

So far, Section 5 agreements have arisen out of legal action by the DRC, often as part of a settlement endorsed by the courts. (In the Debenhams case for instance)

Developments following existing Section 5 agreements are encouraging and the DRC will be developing further work in this area.

(DRC Bulletin October 2006)
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The accessible Tube

London Underground commissioned RNIB to produce the maps as part of a pilot project to provide information to passengers with sight problems, which sighted passengers take for granted. Currently blind and partially sighted people often have to rely on station staff to guide them around Underground stations.

Tim O’Toole, LU Managing Director said: “London Underground is investing more than ever before to make the Tube as accessible as possible for all customers. The new tactile maps are one of these initiatives to make the Tube more accessible and easier to use for blind or partially sighted passengers. Accessibility is about more than step-free access. Features such as induction loops, tactile paving and additional and more visible help and information points will be added to stations as modernisations and refurbishments of Tube stations are completed.” (RNIB web-site October 5 th 2006)

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See it Right CD-Rom

Each book comes with an HTML CD-Rom. This has been designed by RNIB’s Website Accessibility Consultancy team and is in itself an example of best practice in designing and building websites. As well as the full contents of the book the CD-Rom contains downloadable examples of best practice and checklists on all aspects of producing accessible information.

A user licence is available to enable sharing of the guidelines across an organisation – the price of this will be negotiated on an individual basis based on the number of users. Call 020 7391 2006 or email for more information.


A C Limited Copyright 2006