The as a “physical or mental impairment which

The Disability Discrimination Act of 1995 and the Disability Discrimination Act 0f 2005 have been replaced in England and Wales with the new Equality Act 2010. The previous acts still apply however in Northern Ireland.
In 1995 The Disability Discrimination Act defined a disability as a “physical or mental impairment which has a substantial or long- term adverse effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities”. (DDA 1995) It came about as a result of a public campaign to prevent people with a disability from being discriminated against by businesses and state institutions.
Both Acts (1995 & 2005) define what a disability is and set out to guarantee rights for disabled people in education, employment and health. So in employment if is illegal for an employer to discriminate against a potential job seeker because of their disability. This also includes discriminating against a person should they need further support in the work place or also related bullying due to the disability. In Education all types of schools, colleges and universities must be accessible to students of varying disabilities and should ensure to make access to learning as convenient as possible. This may require adapting the physical access for a child/young person or even how books and text is presented to a person with impaired vision etc. People with mental health disabilities can also expect support from the DDA providing they are not being discriminated against and can prove they can reasonably support themselves in work without being a danger. This might apply to people with depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia or even people struggling with the early onset of dementia or suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
Finally the DDA states that people with disabilities should have equal access to all services. These would include transport, accessing housing and healthcare, accessing facilities that members may enjoy in private facilities (health clubs, sporting arenas) and how public institutions carry out a range of services for the general public.
The Disability Discrimination Act 2005 makes amendments to the Act of 1995 following advice from disability organisations, trade unions and public and private sector organisations in consultation. The Act of 2005 gives all public and private institutions the duty to promote equality of opportunity for all disabled people and in particular all public bodies have to produce a Disability Equality Scheme to promote disability and to explain how they intend to fulfil the duty to promote equality.


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