What is Disability Law?
The Disability Act was introduced in 1992. The Disability Act (1995) came into force in January 1996. It was brought about to ensure that disabled people have equal opportunities with non-disabled people and to protect their rights.
The Disability Act states that everyone has a right to live a life that is as fulfilling as possible. The act also ensures that disabled people have equal opportunities to access services, goods and facilities in the same way as other people.
The act covers all aspects of the disabled person’s life including education, employment, health and social care. If you think your business may be affected by the act then you should seek advice from a specialist in disability law.
The act gives the employee the right to ask for reasonable adjustments so that he or she can do their job. These adjustments can include changes to the working environment, such as making a room accessible or changing equipment.
The employer must make the adjustments without undue delay. They must also provide training if necessary.
If the adjustment is not possible, the employer must give reasons why it cannot be made. This is called an ‘undue hardship’. The reason for this is because the disabled person may be able to perform the job in some way. For example, if the employee has trouble using a computer they could work at another desk.
If the employee does not accept the reason given then they can go to an Employment Tribunal and claim that the employer has breached the act.
Health and Social Care
The act covers health and social care. This includes services provided by the NHS and social services.
A disabled person has the right to have their medical records available to them if they want to see them. This is known as the right to sight.
The act also says that disabled people have the right to receive information about health and social care services in a way that is clear and easy to understand.
Social care includes activities like helping to look after elderly relatives or providing help with domestic chores. The act requires social services to make these services available without discrimination.
The act requires schools and colleges to make reasonable adjustments to allow disabled students to take part in their studies. This means that they must be able to use the same resources as other students.
They must also make sure that disabled children get the support they need. This could include extra time being spent on subjects they find difficult.
Access to goods and services
The act makes sure that disabled people have access to goods and services in the same way as other customers. T
his means that they should not have to pay more than others.
They should also not be treated differently when buying goods or services.
If you are unsure whether your business is covered by the act you should seek advice from a lawyer. You should also check your contracts to make sure that you comply with the act.