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Disability Discrimination Act 1995

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 licenses

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.
Disability Discrimination and how it applies to schools
Schools must not treat a child less favourably because they have a disability. They must do what they can to change things so that a child with a disability is not at a substantial disadvantage compared to other children. The law requires schools and local authorities to plan to improve access to mainstream schools and the curriculum for children with disabilities. The laws on special educational needs and disability discrimination are different. Not every child with a disability will have special educational needs. Children with special educational needs do not always have a disability. If parents feel their child has been discriminated against they may complain to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal.

Who to contact

Special Educational Needs: Code of Practice
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