The Disability Rights Commission is to launch a campaign to
publicise tough new anti-discrimination laws.
By 2004 all businesses and service providers must improve access for
those with disabilities or face legal action under the latest section of
the 1995 Disability Discrimination Act.
The campaign, which launches at the end of the month, involves media
relations and public affairs to explain to businesses the legislation
and offering practical tips on how to improve access.
The disabled will also be targeted so they are aware of their right to
Part of the campaign is to promote a helpline (08457 622 633) for the
disabled and businesses on the issue.
PR and public affairs will be handled in-house by the DRC comms team,
which is headed by director of policy and communications Liz Sayce.
Agency Janice Muir Partnership has been drafted in to assist on media
relations work for the campaign launch. The agency's account directors
Janice Muir and Jon Cope report to Alyson Rose, DRC head of media
Cope said: 'This is not just about ramps for wheelchairs. Very few
registered disabled use wheelchairs. This is broader. Our research shows
that banks are a particular problem as they are often in quite old
Rose added it was important businesses and service providers were aware
changes can be carried out cheaply.
'Bigger lettering on a menu for those with visual disabilities, better
placed door handles, these don't cost much but can be so effective,' she
The Disability Discrimination Act has already made it illegal for
employers to discriminate against current or potential employees on
PR and PA work, paying particular attention to SME trade associations,
will take place over the next three years.
Last May Furner Communications was hired to develop the launch strategy
for the DRC's advice on the new laws (PRWeek, 11 May 2001).