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Disability Discrimination Act Equipment

The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA)

The Disability Discrimination Act is a piece of legislation that promotes civil rights for disabled people and protects disabled people from discrimination.

The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995 aims to end the discrimination that many disabled people face. This Act has been significantly extended, including by the Disability Discrimination Act 2005. It now gives disabled people rights in the areas of:

 

      • employment
      • education
      • access to goods, facilities and services, including larger private clubs and land-based transport services
      • buying or renting land or property, including making it easier for disabled people to rent property and for tenants to make disability-related adaptations
      • functions of public bodies, for example issuing of licences

The Act requires public bodies to promote equality of opportunity for disabled people. It also allows the government to set minimum standards so that disabled people can use public transport easily.

Definition of 'disability' under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA)

The definition

For the purposes of the Act:

  • substantial means neither minor nor trivial
  • long term means that the effect of the impairment has lasted or is likely to last for at least 12 months (there are special rules covering recurring or fluctuating conditions)
  • normal day-to-day activities include everyday things like eating, washing, walking and going shopping
  • a normal day-to-day activity must affect one of the 'capacities' listed in the Act which include mobility, manual dexterity, speech, hearing, seeing and memory

Some conditions, such as a tendency to set fires and hay fever, are specifically excluded.

People who have had a disability in the past that meets this definition are also covered by the scope of the Act. There are additional provisions relating to people with progressive conditions.

The DDA 2005 amended the definition of disability. It ensured that people with HIV, cancer and multiple sclerosis are deemed to be covered by the DDA effectively from the point of diagnosis, rather than from the point when the condition has some adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

Guidance and codes of practice

The government has published statutory guidance, primarily to assist adjudicating bodies like courts and tribunals in deciding whether a person is a disabled person for the purposes of the DDA. The current 'Guidance on matters to be taken into account in determining questions relating to the definition of disability' has been in force since 1 May 2006.

Relevant Websites

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