Regular followers of our social media and website posts will know that we have long regarded people with hidden conditions as being the 'poor cousin' in the general population when it comes to statutory provision of aids to make locations more accessible and that we have tried to champion their cause.
Examples of tours being used in education, employment, healthcare and transport
For example, people with physical disabilities or conditions such as wheelchair users and people with partial or full hearing or sight loss are generally well catered for (but still with plenty of room for improvement in some locations) with lifts, ramps, adaptive technology and furniture etc. However, for the Millions* of people in the UK who find the very thought of visiting a new location for work, health, education or cultural fulfilment fills them with trepidation or even terror, there are little to no resources to help. This seriously affects their job prospects, health and the basic quality and enjoyment of life.
We felt that this situation was wrong and decided to seek a professional legal opinion of one of the most Internationally respected names in Equality legislation: Doughty Street Chambers (DSC).
With a potentially limitless number of combinations/ situations, we asked DSC to consider a number of key scenarios, including public locations (public transportation, hospitals educational establishments etc.) as well as how it may affect employers.
Today, 07/06/2021, we received a formal response (attached in full below) from DSC.
Here are their conclusions:
30. For all of the above reasons, it is my opinion that:
(a) But for the provision of an auxiliary aid (the auxiliary aid being VR tours), people with the disabilities such as the ones in issue are placed at a substantial disadvantage when compared with those who do not share their disability;
(b) Service providers, employers (subject to having knowledge of the relevant disability) and further education providers have a duty to take such steps as is reasonable to have to take to provide the auxiliary aid;
(c) The provision of VR tours is highly likely to be considered as a reasonable step to have to take, given the relatively low cost, ease of implementation and the potential number of disabled beneficiaries.
DOUGHTY STREET CHAMBERS
"We believe this opinion to be a seminal moment in accessibility and inclusion for people with hidden conditions and encourage all organisations to adopt and implement the conclusions in full." Chris Wood. Director of Ocean 3D. "By providing the ability to easily access locations in advance, 24/7 on any Wi-Fi or 4G connected phone, tablet or desktop; millions of people affected by hidden conditions (as well as their parent/ carers where appropriate) will feel more able, confident and empowered to visit and attend schools, colleges, surgeries, hospitals, dentists, museums, public transportation, seek and achieve employment and enjoy a better quality of life"
Ocean 3D Ltd can be contacted on
Telephone +44 (0) 1736 339405