Public consultation on disability access guide

Howard Quayle MHK

Howard Quayle MHK

Have your say

The government has launched a public consultation on the quality and effectiveness of the disability access guide for the Isle of Man.

The move comes ahead of the expiration of the contract with current provider UK-based DisabledGo.

The guide offers reviews of more than 1,200 venues in the Isle of Man providing information from basic contact details to the level of facilities available for those with disabilities such as ramps, large print leaflets, disabled toilets, disabled parking and hearing loops.

DisabledGo was first awarded the contract to develop an access guide for the island following a decision by the Council of Ministers in 2003 that the island should be more accessible for disabled people.

This followed a recommendation from the Chronically Sick and Disabled Committee (now the Tynwald Advisory Committee for Disabilities).

DisabledGo were again awarded the contract in 2011. The contract will shortly go out for an expressions of interest for the third time and the Department of Health and Social Care wants to hear from members of the public about how useful they find the guide as well as their thoughts on its quality and accuracy.

Minister for Health and Social Care Howard Quayle MHK said: ‘I am very keen to hear the public’s views on the service provided by DisabledGo.

‘Back in 2003 when this scheme was first established, there were very few organisations with the skills and resources required to develop a disability access service. This has changed over the past decade and new providers have emerged.

‘It’s estimated that around 10 per cent of the island’s population has some form of disability and it’s important that accurate information is available about a building or service’s level of accessibility. Understandably these facts make a real difference to disabled people when deciding which businesses and services they use, for example.

‘I am keen to ensure that this department delivers value for money services for the taxpayer. That’s why it is important that we understand the value the public feel the current guide offers them.’

‘The consultation will run for a six-week period. Anyone wishing to comment should ensure that their views are submitted no later than Sunday, July 13.

There are two online surveys available for completion – one for individuals, and one for organisations already on the DisabledGo website.

Further information is available online on { site}.

The island does not have the equivalent of the UK’s Disability Discrimination Act, which imposes statutory obligations on organisations for disabled access.

While the law was passed in 2006, it has never been implemented.

Click here for our latest story about that.

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