In a recent question posed to the Department of Work and Pensions about assistance dogs, Justin Tomlinson MP Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions) answered with the following statement on 2 July 2019:
"Assistance dogs must be allowed access to premises and services as a reasonable adjustment under the Equality Act 2010. There is also an obligation on service providers to ensure that staff receive disability awareness training. Guidance for service providers on their duties and responsibilities already exists and is available from both the Gov.uk website and from the EHRC – for example:
The Government continues to encourage service providers to do their utmost to provide the fullest possible access for disabled people.
Officials at the Office for Disability Issues (part of my Ministerial portfolio) initiated and helped convene different members of the assistance dogs sector to look at access, quality and supply issues for assistance dogs, with a view to creating a UK standard. This work is currently being considered by the assistance dogs sector who are responsible for agreeing and implementing this standard." [End quote]
Veterans With Dogs has been part of the initiative by the DWP to create a UK standard. We welcome the statement by Justin Tomlinson MP reminding providers of their responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010 - and this includes all government departments and service providers such as ATOS et al.
"We would like to see evidence and commitment of these departments and government service providers to show proper understanding of disability issues and to demonstrate suitable training of staff so that people can be treated fairly and equally when trying to access services, and more particularly, when attending assessments with the government's contracted suppliers ". - CEO
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