Schools and LAs need to carry out accessibility planning for disabled pupils. These are the same duties as previously existed under the Disability Discrimination Act and have been replicated in the Equality Act 2010. Part 5A of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) requires the governing body to:
- promote equality of opportunity for disabled people: pupils, staff, parents, carers and other people who use the school or may wish to; and
- prepare and publish an Accessibility Plan to show how they will meet these duties.
The Equality Act 2010 defines a disability as ‘a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities.’ Under this definition, learning difficulties such as developmental delay, dyslexia, autism, hearing or visual difficulties are classifies as disabilities. This Accessibility Plan forms part of the Disability Equality Scheme and sets out how the governing body will improve equality of opportunity for disabled people. The Governing Body has had three key duties towards disabled pupils under part 4 of the DDA:
- Not to treat disabled pupils less favourably for reasons related to their disability
- To make reasonable adjustments for disabled pupils, so that they are not at a substantial disadvantage including potential adjustments which may be needed in the future.
- To plan to increase access to education for disabled pupils.
It is a requirement that the school’s Accessibility Plan is resourced, implemented and reviewed and revised as necessary. In drawing up the Accessibility Plan the school has set the following priorities:
- To provide safe access around and throughout the school for all school users, irrespective of their disability.
- To ensure that the teaching and learning environment and the resources used are suitable for all staff and pupils, tailoring the requirements to suit individual needs.
- To provide training to all staff regarding the needs of disabled people and how to provide assistance to enable them to enjoy the school experience as fully as possible.
- To support all parents and carers in our school community
It is the responsibility of the whole school community to implement this scheme in a manner which promotes the inclusive ethos of our school.