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Home > News > July 2004 > 29-Jul-2004

Free training up for grabs

Free disability awareness training for small businesses is up for grabs and the charity RNID is urging eligible companies to take up the offer.

The deaf and disability awareness training offered free of charge by RNID, is designed to give businesses and their staff an understanding of disability issues to ensure they do not inadvertently prejudice customers, potentially putting employers at risk of litigation.

By being accessible to disabled people by the end of September, small businesses across the country will not only be within deadline of the Disability Discrimination Act, they could also be eligible for a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) award.

Irini Korompilia, Projects Manager at RNID said: "Discrimination often comes about from misconceptions of what disability is. To prevent organisational discrimination it is essential to shatter these stereotypes to truly make an organisation open to all customers."

RNID commissioned research found that over 69 per cent of small business are not planning to make any changes to ensure equal accessibility for deaf and hard of hearing customers. These organisations could face costly court cases. Importantly, if businesses are DDA compliant it also opens them up to the spending power of disabled people in the UK estimated at £50 billion.

Businesses demonstrating the best practice in accessibility could put themselves forward for recognition through the DWP's Access all Areas Award with the deadline for applications being just a day before the final access duties come into full force on 1st October 2004.

The Access all Areas Award is open to organisations with fewer than 100 employees. For more information, visit:

Free deaf and disability awareness training is available from RNID for organisations with fewer than 250 employees. For further information, please contact training services on 0207 296 8060 or

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