Demand for helpline predicted to grow

    The Disability Rights Commission expects calls to its helpline to
    increase by at least one third in 2004-5, after new Disability
    Discrimination Act 1995 duties come into force in October.

    In its annual report, the commission predicts about 250,000 calls
    per year by 2007 and warns of a knock-on effect on other services,
    including legal work.

    As a result, the DRC plans to do greater in-depth analysis at the
    helpline stage, with casework focusing on cases that are
    significant for the individual or help clarify and establish the
    meaning of the law.

    The body also wants to make more use of its legal powers to conduct
    formal investigations. One focusing on the quality of treatment for
    disabled people in the health service is planned for the end of the
    year.

    The report also re-affirms the DRC’s commitment to ensure that the
    establishment of a new single commission for equality and human
    rights “will not lead to any downgrading of the priority accorded
    to disability nor to any loss of momentum in delivering existing
    and new disability rights on the ground”.

    – Report from
    www.drc-gb.org/newsroom/newsdetails.asp?id=697&section=4

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