The Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC) published guidance in support of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) guidance to the shipping industry and Member States on the design and operation of passenger ships to ensure that the services they provide are accessible to disabled and older people. The shipping industry is covered by the Part III of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) in relation to the infrastructure, facilities and services provided at ports. The Government has recently consulted on proposals to lift the transport exemption from Part III, including shipping. In the line with recommendation of the Disability Rights Task Force, the Government propose to only lift the exemption if, following a review of the industry, it is found that the standards of service set out in the DPTAC guidance are not provided and there is discrimination against disabled travellers. This project will form the basis of that review but will also consider wider access issues.
The aim of this project is to evaluate the adoption and effectiveness within the shipping industry of the DPTAC ferries guidance on the design of large passenger ships and passenger infrastructure to meet the needs of disabled people.