The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (as amended by the Disability Discrimination) (Northern Ireland) (Order 2006) requires public authorities, when carrying out their functions, to have due regard to the need to:
- promote positive attitudes towards disabled people
- encourage participation by disabled people in public life
Under section 49B of the DDA 1995 Act, public authorities are required to submit disability action plans to the Equality Commission showing how they propose to fulfil the disability duties in relation to their functions.
The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act gives the public a right of access to any information held by a public authority, namely the department in this case. This right of access to information includes information provided in response to a consultation. Comments will not normally be treated as confidential unless there is a good reason, capable of being justified to the Information Commissioner.