What is the Disability Discrimination Act?
The Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (D.D.A) gives protection for all people in Australia against discrimination based on disability. It also aims to promote equal opportunity and access for people with disability.
Disability discrimination happens when people with a disability are treated less fairly than people without a disability. Disability discrimination also occurs when people are treated less fairly because they are relatives, friends, carers, co-workers or associates of a person with a disability.
Who does the D.D.A cover?
The definition of “disability” in the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 is broad to make sure everyone with a disability is protected. It includes:
- Physical Disabilities
- Intellectual Disabilities
- Psychosocial Disabilities
- Sensory Disabilities
- Neurological Disabilities
- Learning Disabilities
- Diseases or Illness
It covers a disability which people:
- Have now.
- Had in the past (for example: a past history of childhood epilepsy).
- May have in the future (for example: a family history of a disability which a person may also develop). Or,
- Are believed to have (for example: if people think someone has a Mental Illness).
It also covers people with a disability who may be discriminated against because:
- They are accompanied by an assistant, interpreter or reader.
- They are accompanied by a trained animal (for example: a guide dog). Or,
- They use equipment or an aid (for example: a wheelchair).
The D.D.A also protects people who have some form of personal connection with a person with a disability like relatives, friends, carers and co-workers if they are discriminated against because of that connection or relationship.
What areas of life does the D.D.A protect me in?
The DDA makes it against the law to discriminate against someone if they have a disability in the following areas of life :
- Employment. For example, when someone is trying to get a job, equal pay or promotion.
- Education. For example, when enrolling in a school, TAFE, university or other colleges.
- Access to premises used by the public. For example, using libraries, places of worship, government offices, hospitals, restaurants, shops, or other premises used by the public.
- Provision of goods, services and facilities. For example, when a person wants goods or services from shops, pubs and places of entertainment, cafes, video shops, banks, lawyers, government departments, doctors, hospitals and so on.
- Accommodation. For example, when renting or trying to rent a room in a boarding house, a flat, unit or house.
- Buying land. For example, buying a house, a place for a group of people, or drop-in centre.
- Activities of clubs and associations. For example, wanting to enter or join a registered club, (such as a sports club, RSL or fitness centre), or when a person is already a member.
- Sport. For example, when wanting to play, or playing a sport.
- Administration of Commonwealth Government laws and programs. For example, when seeking information on government entitlements, trying to access government programs, wanting to use voting facilities.
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