The law about disability discrimination

If you are disabled, or have had a disability, the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) makes it unlawful for you to be discriminated against in:

  • employment
  • trade organisations and qualifications bodies
  • access to goods, facilities and services
  • the management, buying or renting of land or property
  • education.

There are also DDA regulations dealing with buses, coaches and trains, which set out access standards for those vehicles to help people with mobility or sensory impairments, and learning disabilities.

The DDA was passed in 1995 to introduce new measures aimed at ending the discrimination which many disabled people face in their everyday lives. The DDA 2005 made important changes to the scope of the original legislation, including creating a legal duty for public authorities to actively promote disability equality. For more information about the duty read the Disability Equality Duty.

Together, the legislation provides disabled people with rights and it places duties on those who provide services, education and employment. It also encourages employers and employees to work together to break away from rigid employment practices, identify what adjustments and support might be needed, and find flexible ways of working that may benefit the whole workforce.

The DDA defines discrimination in a number of ways and outlines four specific types of discrimination: direct discrimination, failure to make reasonable adjustments, disability-related discrimination and victimisation.


Last Updated: 25 Sep 2014