Disability Action Plans - Timeframe for measures outlined in the plan / duration of the plan
A Disability Action Plan must outline a timetable for the measures proposed in it. Thus, if a plan states that the public authority intends to set up arrangements for (a) monitoring the participation of disabled people in its employment or on the boards that it appoints, or (b) a new consultative forum as part of its consultation arrangements, then the plan must also specify a timetable for the development and completion of those measures.
If pre-existing arrangements for activities like monitoring and consulting are considered by the public authority to be satisfactory and where the proposal is to continue using them, then the plan should reference this. Many pre-existing arrangements for activities may be satisfactory; although the operation of arrangements should be regularly reviewed. One should not be complacent that the arrangements outlined in a current plan are necessarily satisfactory; a review may show otherwise and it also offers an opportunity to consider other examples of good practice that could be adopted.
Whilst there is no statutory requirement for a disability action plan to have a finite lifespan, nevertheless the Commission recommends that public authorities adopt plans with a finite lifespan as a matter of good practice. The reasons for this are:
public authorities who are designated for Section 49A are also designated for Section 75 and as such will have (unless they have been granted exemptions by the Equality Commission) a Disability Action Plan and a Section 75 Equality Scheme. Such public authorities are under a statutory obligation to review their equality schemes every five years and when doing so they are simultaneously obliged to review their Disability Action Plans.
some positive action measures outlined in a current plan may be time-bound; e.g. goals and timetables to increase the proportion of disabled appointees on the board of body X to 10% within the next 5 years. There is a benefit to having a plan with a finite lifespan that coincides with such goals and timetables, as both can be reviewed together and updated, if appropriate.