Department of Health guide on ‘Easy to Read’ information

Department of Health

‘Making written information easier to understand for people with learning disabilities: Guidance for people who commission or produce Easy Read information’ was published by the Department of Health, Office for Disability Issues, Mencap and the Central Office of Information in November 2010.

This revised edition of the good practice guidance is aimed at people who commission easy read information for people with learning disabilities. The guidance is primarily for public sector organisations at a local and national level, but also for other organisations who produce public information specifically for people with learning disabilities, or anyone involved in commissioning Easy Read materials

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Government Equality Strategy announcement

The Government Equalities Office (GEO) logo.

On 2 December 2010, the Government published its Equality Strategy and announced that the Government Equalities Office will become a unit of the Home Office rather than a standalone department. The Strategy ‘sets out our vision for a strong, modern and fair Britain. It is built on two principles of equality – equal treatment and equal opportunity. This means building a society where no one is held back because of who they are, or where they come from’.

The Government also announced that employers will be asked to help tackle the gender pay gap by publishing equality data about their workforce on a voluntary basis and that the Equality Act’s rules on positive action in relation to recruitment and promotion will be enacted.

Click here for to Equality Strategy

Commission to assess the Spending Review’s compliance with equality law

The EHRC logo.

On 25 November 2010, the Equality and Human Rights Commission started a process to carry out a formal, independent assessment of the extent to which the Treasury has met its legal obligations to consider the impact on protected groups of decisions contained in the Spending Review.

The assessment was conducted under powers granted to the Commission under section 31 of the 2006 Equality Act.

European Disability Strategy 2010-2020

The European Commission emblem.

On 15 November 2010 the European Commission adopted a new strategy to break down the barriers that prevent persons with disabilities from participating in society on an equal basis. The strategy outlines how the EU and national governments can empower people with disabilities so that they can fully enjoy their rights. Specific measures over the next decade range from improving accessibility of goods and services to studying the implications of a mutual recognition of national disability cards. These measures will have substantial societal benefits, but should also produce a knock-on effect on Europe’s economy.

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Review of poverty and life chances

On 3 December 2010, the Independent Review on Poverty and Life Chances conducted by Frank Field was published.

The report details a new strategy to meet the Government’s target of abolishing child poverty. It has two overarching recommendations. To prevent poor children from becoming poor adults the Review proposes establishing a set of Life Chances Indicators that will measure how successful we are as a country in making life’s outcomes more equal for all children.

To drive this policy of raising life chances the Review proposes establishing the first pillar of a new tripartite education system: the Foundation Years, covering the period conception to five. The Foundation Years will then lead into the school years, leading to further, higher and continuing education.

Click here for link to Review