Ofcom has a duty under the Communications Act to have regard for the needs of disabled people when making and implementing regulatory decisions. To inform its work, Ofcom has carried out in-depth research into the issues facing people with disabilities. This has focused on the following groups:
There are also a number of research reports relating to disabled consumers on the Communications Consumer Panel website
While the specific issues facing people with different types of impairments vary, some issues are common to many disabled people.
For example, problems when dealing with call centres came up in all four pieces of the research above. Although Ofcom does not regulate call centres, we did publish some advice for call centres.
Communications providers are required to publicise the availability of services for disabled people. Ofcom has carried out research into how well communications providers are doing this.
Ofcom discussed the findings of this research with the communications providers concerned and required them to produce detailed plans setting out how they will improve the situation. We also asked for copies of the training and reference materials that are provided to call handlers to inform them about these services.
As a public body, Ofcom is required to promote equality in all its work, both as a service provider and an employer. We have published our Equality Scheme setting out how we will do this.