Access to services, etc.
26.—(1) Where a service is provided by a public body, the head of the body shall—
(a) where practicable and appropriate, ensure that the provision of access to the service by persons with and persons without disabilities is integrated,
(b) where practicable and appropriate, provide for assistance, if requested, to persons with disabilities in accessing the service if the head is satisfied that such provision is necessary in order to ensure compliance with paragraph (a), and
(c) where appropriate, ensure the availability of persons with appropriate expertise and skills to give advice to the body about the means of ensuring that the service provided by the body is accessible to persons with disabilities.
(2) Each head of a public body referred to in subsection (1) shall authorise at least one of his or her officers (referred to in this Act as “access officers”) to provide or arrange for and co-ordinate the provision of assistance and guidance to persons with disabilities in accessing its services.
(3) This section shall come into operation on 31 December 2005.