CRT launches equal­ity pol­icy for boaters

Canal Boat - - News -

THE CANAL & River Trust has pub­lished its Equal­ity Pol­icy, which lays out how it will com­ply with the law re­gard­ing dis­crim­i­na­tion for cus­tomers – and in par­tic­u­lar, how it will seek to avoid dis­ad­van­tag­ing boaters with dis­abil­i­ties.

Along­side gen­eral con­cerns re­gard­ing iden­ti­fy­ing pro­pos­als that could po­ten­tially re­sult in dis­crim­i­na­tion there are more spe­cific items, in par­tic­u­lar those re­lat­ing to dis­abil­i­ties where the pol­icy in­cludes com­mit­ments to: • En­sure the needs of peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties are built into restora­tion, re­gen­er­a­tion and re­fur­bish­ment • In­cor­po­rate mea­sures to re­duce ac­cess re­stric­tions for peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties into main­te­nance work where prac­ti­ca­ble • Re­view the need for mo­tor­cy­cle

bar­ri­ers on tow­paths • En­cour­age the pro­vi­sion of ac­ces­si­ble boats and other fa­cil­i­ties The pol­icy also cov­ers ‘rea­son­able ad­just­ments’ where phys­i­cal fea­tures on the wa­ter­ways place a dis­abled per­son at a sub­stan­tial dis­ad­van­tage, and in par­tic­u­lar the Trust’s Guid­ance for boats with­out a home moor­ing – CRT’s in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the re­quire­ment for these craft to be used ‘for nav­i­ga­tion’ un­der the 1995 Bri­tish Wa­ter­ways Act.

The Pol­icy says that if the Trust be­comes aware of such a boater with a dis­abil­ity, it will make them aware of its duty and of­fer to re­view its usual re­quire­ments, and may carry out an as­sess­ment with a view to iden­ti­fy­ing ad­just­ments. These could in­clude a re­duced range and/or pat­tern of move­ment, moor­ing longer than the stated lim­its, or as­sis­tance with nav­i­gat­ing – and might de­pend on the boater’s dis­abil­ity, avail­abil­ity of as­sis­tance from friends or fam­ily, and char­ac­ter­is­tics of the water­way such as num­ber of locks.

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