Creating a fairer Britain
The Equality Act came into force on 1 October 2010. The information on this page reflects changes to the law.
If you look at the definition of disability, you will immediately realise that disabled people are a diverse group with different requirements. Different things about the way an organisation delivers its services may create different barriers for disabled people with different impairments.
An organisation providing goods, facilities or services to the public or a section of the public, carrying out public functions or running an association must think about disabled people in general. It must make reasonable adjustments even if it does not know that a particular customer, client, service user or member is a disabled person. It must make reasonable adjustments even if it believes it currently has no disabled customers, clients, service users or members.
But organisations are not expected to anticipate the needs of every person who may use their service.
If you are a disabled person and try to use a service but find there is a barrier which someone who did not have your impairment would not face, the organisation must consider reasonable adjustments to remove that barrier.
You should point out the difficulty you face in accessing the services, or receiving the public function, or joining or belonging to the association. You could even suggest a reasonable way to overcome the barrier, although you do not have to. It is up to the organisation to find the answer and decide if it is reasonable for them. But if you know about something that has removed a similar barrier, it would obviously be helpful for you to tell the organisation about it.
You can read more about what to do if you believe you’ve been discriminated against. This includes what to do if you believe an organisation has failed to make reasonable adjustments.