The Disability Discrimination Act 1995

As the name indicated this major and important piece of legislation was passed in the UK in 1995 to provide equal opportunities for disabled people in all spheres of life.

The Act affects mainly service providers and employers and makes it unlawful to discriminate against anyone who has a disability or to give them less favourable treatment. It covers a diverse range of areas like employment, gaining access to facilities or buildings and also the provision of goods or services.

It is a complex piece of legislation and when it was first passed into law there was room for interpretation, is also sometimes known as the DDA. It essentially provides guidelines on how employers and service providers should treat those with disabilities and how to promote equality of opportunity for all. It also requires

The DDA outlines and defines a disabled person as someone who has a physical or psychological impairment that stops and inhibits them from carrying out daily tasks. The impairment must be permanent or long term. The guidelines and definitions in the DDA are there to help the law courts in coming to conclusions and in defining disability itself.

The Act essentially imposes obligations and “reasonable adjustments” on employers and also companies who provide services to disabled people. For instance in some circumstances employers may have to provide ramps or lifts so that wheelchair users can gain access to their building. Another example would be for companies to provide their written material in larger fonts, helping those with impaired vision.

This legislation should be viewed in a positive mode by recruiters as it means that more qualified jobseekers will be entering the employment market. Despite their impairments many are qualified and suitable potential employees.

Related topics:

Disability resources

Disability events