HC Deb 26 February 1999 vol 326 cc472-3W
Mr. Berry

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assessment she has made of the impact on her Department's policies of the goods and services provisions of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 to be implemented in October 1999. [71266]

Mr. McFall

Northern Ireland Departments are acting to ensure that their policies meet the needs of disabled people and that they comply with their legal requirements under the Disability Discrimination Act. Departments already take positive steps to make it easier for disabled people to make use of their services. They shall continue to do so, not only by complying fully with new duties in the Act but by aiming to exceed them where appropriate.

Northern Ireland Departments are committed to equality of opportunity and treatment and are required to promote fair treatment and avoid unfavourable impacts not only on disabled people but on other minority or disadvantaged groups. "Policy Appraisal and Fair Treatment" guidelines aim to ensure that issues of equality and equity condition policy making and actions, whether in regulatory and administrative functions or in the delivery of services to the public.