Legal duties

From Our Toolkit

In the UK access for disabled people is a legal requirement and applies to employers, public and private services.

Duties are laid out in legislation The Equality Act 2010  (England, Scotland and Wales) and the  Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (Northern Ireland). The Acts give disabled people the right to ‘reasonable adjustments’ to ensure jobs and services are accessible to them.

Reasonable adjustments

There is no set definition of ‘reasonable’ in the Acts. It can depend on your situation and how much the adjustment might cost.

An adjustment can be physical, such as a ramp or hearing loop. Or it can mean changing the way people behave towards you, such as staff not covering their mouths when they are speaking to a visitor if they lip read. Many adjustments cost very little and can have benefits for everyone.

Public sector duties

If you are a public sector organisation, (this includes key public authorities like local authorities, health, transport and education bodies, the police, the armed forces, and central government departments) you also need to comply with the Public Sector Equalities Duty (England, Scotland and Wales) and the Disability Equality Duty (Northern Ireland), along with the website and apps accessibility for UK public sector bodies.

Please note that charities are exempt from the public sector duties described above.

Writing an Equality Action Plan

If you are a public sector organisation to met your Equalities Duties you are required to have an Equality Action Plan which defines and appraises your current provision and outlines how you plan to improve on this over time.  Advice on how to create a plan can be found as follows:

For England, Scotland and Wales:

For Northern Ireland:

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