DDA Act 1995

The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 makes it unlawful for businesses and organisations that are providing a service to treat disabled people less favourably than other people for a reason related to their disability.

Part III of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 placed key duties on those providing goods, facilities or services to the public and those selling, letting or managing premises. The Act made it lawful for service providers, employers, landlords and other responsible persons to discriminate against disabled people in certain circumstances.

The duties on service providers were introduced in three stages outlined below.

  • Since 2 December 1996 it has been unlawful for service providers to treat disabled people less favourably for a reason related to their disability;
  • Since 1 October 1999 service providers have had to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ for disabled people, such as providing extra help or making changes to the way they provide their services; and
  • Since 1 October 2004 service providers have to make other ‘reasonable adjustments’ in relation to the physical features of their premises to overcome physical barriers to access.

Where a service provider offers a service to the public they have a legal duty, referred to as the duty to make reasonable adjustments. One of these if to provide tactile and Braille signs for visually impaired people.

A few examples of service providers to whom the DDA applies are:

Banks, Advice Agencies, Local Councils, Hotels, National Parks, Pubs, Building Societies, Sports Stadiums, Post Offices, Charities, Theatres, Voluntary Organisations, Art Galleries, Cinemas, Museums, Places of Worship, Leisure Centres, Shops and Government Departments & Agencies.

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