HC Deb 29 October 1997 vol 299 c822W
Mr. Austin

To ask the Minister without Portfolio in respect of the millennium experience (1) what plans he has to ensure that the millennium experience is fully accessible to disabled people; and if he will make a statement; [12851]

(2) what consultations he has had with disabled people regarding accessibility to the millennium experience by disabled people; [12852]

(3) what plans he has to ensure that the millennium experience is available to people with a sensory impairment. [12853]

Mr. Mandelson

The Government and the New Millennium Experience Company aim to ensure that all who wish to visit the Millennium Experience can do so, regardless of any disability an individual may have. An Advisory Group has been established by the NMEC to consider accessibility and special needs issues, reflecting the NMEC's concern to meet all relevant statutory requirements and to apply, wherever possible, voluntary codes, guidance and specifications.

The Advisory Group held its first meeting on 24 June. It is chaired by David Phillips, Chief Executive of Holiday Care Service, and its members are drawn from a range of voluntary sector organisations covering physical, sensory and learning disabilities, mental health issues, and the needs of older people. The group will provide best practice guidance to the NMEC on a wide range of accessibility issues including transportation, parking, the natural and the built environment, displays and facilities, on-site information and promotional materials, ticketing arrangements, and disability awareness training.