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Throughout our work together, we have been aware of those occasions and situations in which things are not as they should be. Visually Impaired and other vulnerable, marginalised groups often struggle to be heard and to receive even those rights that the law allows them.

The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) has been in force for almost 20 years, and yet there are still huge gaps in the provision it requires for those with disabilities. This needs to be addressed. Now.

DDA talks about removing barriers to access, be they physical or intellectual. Many organisations have made some headway in removing physical barriers - although even they have often focused on providing wheelchair access and a disabled loo without considering the wider needs of disabled groups as a whole - but the progress on removing intellectual barriers to access remains painfully slow.

Visually Impaired people are still having serious difficulties in gaining access to taxis, restaurants, shops, public buildings and spaces, as well as finding it difficult to access materials they can read and use, whether these be in hard copy or online.

Many of our churches are failing to do what is required under the law (DDA applies to us all!) It has always been our dream that we would be able to point people to the churches as examples of best practice in this area. Sadly, all too often, this is simply not the case.

We dream of the day when we can direct people to a shining example of accessibility in our churches - but that day has not dawned. Yet.

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