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If you’ve been a victim of discrimination or hate crime because of a physical disability, a learning disability or a mental health problem, we can help.
What is DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION?
Disability discrimination is when you are treated differently or put at a disadvantage to non-disabled people because of your disability. It may have happened only once, or many times over a longer period. Even if it wasn’t on purpose – it’s still illegal.
Disability discrimination covers:
- Physical disabilities, like wheelchair users
- Learning disabilities, like Down’s syndrome
- Learning difficulties, like ADHD
- Mental health problems
- Long-term health conditions, like HIV.
You’re also covered if you had a disability in the past. For example, you might have had a mental health problem in the past which you’ve now recovered from. You’re still protected from disability discrimination.
The equality act
The Equality Act 2010 is the legislation that protects you from disability discrimination. It states that you can’t be discriminated against because:
- you have a disability.
- someone thinks you have a disability – this is discrimination by perception.
- you are friends, family, or otherwise connected with a disabled person – this is discrimination by association.
Types of disability discrimination
There are six different types of disability discrimination:
- direct discrimination
- indirect discrimination
- failure to make reasonable adjustments
- discrimination arising from disability
The last two types are specific to disability discrimination.
This is when you’re treated worse than someone else in the same or similar situation because of a disability.
Indirect discrimination is when an organisation or employer has a particular policy or way of doing things that has an impact on you because of a disability. This is illegal unless the organisation or employer can give a good reason for what they have done.
Harassment happens when you’re treated in a way that makes you feel humiliated, offended or degraded. Harassment is always wrong, but if an organisation or employer can prove it did everything possible to prevent its staff behaving in a discriminatory way, you can’t make a claim for harassment against it. You could however make a claim against the harasser.
Victimisation is when you’re treated poorly because you’ve made a complaint about discrimination.
failure to make reasonable adjustments
The Equality Act says that employers and organisations must make sure that disabled people can access jobs, education and services just as easily as non-disabled people. This is their ‘duty to make reasonable adjustments’.
What is ‘reasonable’ depends on a few factors, including the resources available to the organisation that is making the adjustment.
discrimination arising from disability
This is when you’re treated differently because of something related to your disability. This could include being refused entry to a cafe because you are with your assistance dog.
There are a few times where it is acceptable for organisations to discriminate – we’ve listed a few above, when we spoke about indirect discrimination and reasonable adjustments. Organisations are allowed to treat a disabled person better than a non-disabled person. This is also known as ‘positive discrimination‘.
In some circumstances, organisations are also allowed to treat one disabled person more favourably than others with different disabilities.
No one deserves to be a victim of discrimination. If it’s happening to you or someone you know, get in touch with us right away. If you live in Avon and Somerset, our service is free and completely confidential. If we can’t help you, we’ll find someone who can.
Talk to us today. All calls are completely confidential.0117 942 0060
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Our Mailing Address
PO Box 2454