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Disability Equality Duty in force

The Disability Discrimination Act 2005 amended the Act to insert the disability equality duty, known as the general duty, into the Act. The duty is aimed at tackling systemic discrimination, and ensuring that public authorities build disability equality into everything that they do.

Section 49A of the Act says that public authorities must, when carrying out their functions, have due regard to the need to:

  • promote equality of opportunity between disabled people and other people
  • eliminate discrimination that is unlawful under the Act
  • eliminate harassment of disabled people that is related to their disability
  • promote positive attitudes towards disabled people
  • encourage participation by disabled people in public life
  • take steps to meet disabled peoples' needs, even if this requires more favourable treatment.

The Act also gives the Secretary of State, or in Scotland the Scottish Ministers, the power to introduce regulations setting out more specific duties which may assist public authorities in meeting their general duty. The key aspect of the specific duties is the requirement to produce a Disability Equality Scheme.

The general duty applies to all public authorities, including.

  • government departments and executive agencies
  • ministers
  • local authorities
  • governing bodies of colleges, universities and schools
  • governing bodies of schools
  • NHS trusts and boards
  • police and fire authorities
  • the Crown Prosecution Service and the Crown Office
  • inspection and audit bodies
  • certain publicly funded museums
  • and those private organisations which may carry out some public functions (but only in so far as those functions are concerned) .

The specific duties apply only to those authorities which are listed in the regulations.

The general and specific duties apply in England, Scotland and Wales. The specific duties in England and Wales are the same in all key respects as the duties which apply in Scotland, except that there are different arrangements in relation to education due to differences in legislation.

The general duty came into force on 4 December 2006. Those public authorities which are subject to the specific duties, apart from some exceptions, (see below) should have published their Disability Equality Schemes by 4th December 2006.

[Please note: Primary schools in England must publish their Disability Equality Scheme by 3rd December 2007, and all schools in Wales must publish their schemes no later than 1st April 2007.]

Amendments to Part 3 of the DDA affecting private clubs, public authority functions, and providers of premises and transport services

Provisions introduced by the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 and enforceable from December 2006:

  • extend the scope of part 3 of the 1995 Act to include the functions of public authorities
  • create new duties for the providers of premises
  • create new duties for providers of transport services,
  • introduce a new duty for private clubs – which have been subject to provisions concerning less favourable treatment of disabled people since December 2005 - to make reasonable adjustments.

Public authority functions

As from December 2006, Part 3 of the 1995 Act applies to the functions carried out by a public authority. The original DDA did not apply to the exercise of certain functions by public authorities (such as arrests by the police) as these do not constitute the provision of a service to the public. The provisions relating to 'public authority functions' only apply where other parts of the 1995 Act do not already apply (section 21B (7)).

Private clubs

As from December 2006, it has been unlawful if a private club fails to make reasonable adjustments, in circumstances in which it is impossible or unreasonably difficult for a disabled person who is a member, associate or guest to make use of the club or for a disabled prospective member to access membership.

Providers of premises

As from December 2006, controllers of premises have had new duties to make reasonable adjustments.

Providers of transport services

As from December 2006, providers of services in respect of transport vehicles have had new duties to make reasonable adjustments.


Sight Village 2007:

Dates for Sight Village 2007 are:

Tuesday 17th July 2007 (10am - 5pm)
Wednesday 18th July 2007 (10am - 5pm)
Thursday 19th July 2007 (10am - 4.30pm)

Venue - The Clarendon Suites 2 Stirling Road Edgbaston Birmingham

Admission is free

For information about exhibiting at QAC Sight Village 2007 email

Deaf Day (10am - 4.30pm)
Saturday 21st April 2007,
City Lit, Keeley Street, Covent Garden, London. WC2B 4BA.

If you are Deaf or have an interest in a Deaf-related field, this unique event, taking place on Saturday 21st April, is a once-a-year chance to find out all you need to know, share ideas and discover new opportunities.

Deaf Day events are happening all over the UK - please check on your local internet search engine for your local event.

Naidex 2007
Birmingham NEC - Halls 18 and 19
24 - 26 April 2006
The Exhibition for disabled people and anyone involved with disabilities.

Disability Jobsite - Recruitment Events
Supporting people with a disability

Calendar of Disability Sports Events
This Calendar contains events in Kent, South East Regional, Nationally and Internationally and is collected from a range of sources including Disability National Governing Body web-sites.

If there are any dates that you would like added here - please send an email to:

Web: www.Otford.Net SiteBuilder