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18 Rights for Disabled People

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1. Introduction

2. When discrimination can happen

3. What the law says

4. What counts as a disability

5. When discrimination is allowed

6. Discrimination at work

7. Discrimination when buying and using goods and services

8. Discrimination by public authorities

9. Discrimination by private clubs and associations

10. Discrimination when buying or renting a property

11. Discrimination at school or college

12. What you can do about discrimination

If you have been discriminated against, first think about what you want to be done. Depending on how you were discriminated against, you may want:

  • your job back;
  • compensation;
  • an apology; or
  • a clear sign that an organisation won’t discriminate in the same way in future.

Whatever you want, it is usually best to first try to sort out the matter with the person or organisation that has discriminated against you. You may want to get more advice about what to say.

You could start by contacting the Equality and Human Rights Commission, an organisation that has been set up by the government to promote equal opportunities and to promote good practice in the way people are treated.

It can also offer legal advice and support, and may be able to arrange conciliation to help you come to an agreement with the organisation you have a problem with, if your complaint is about a:

  • service provider;
  • private club; or
  • college or university.

You can also get help with problems of discrimination from:

  • your trade union (if it is about a job);
  • your local law centre;
  • a Citizens Advice Bureau; or
  • a solicitor or adviser displaying the Community Legal Service logo (see ‘The Community Legal Service’ for more about this).

See ‘Further help’ for how to contact these organisations.

If your case is about discrimination to do with your work, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) may also be able to help. It can try to help you come to an agreement with your employer (about promotion or compensation, for example) without you having to go to a hearing. If you cannot come to an agreement through ACAS or by discussion, you can still take your case to an employment tribunal. However, there are time limits for doing this (see ‘Going to an employment tribunal (ET)’ below).

If these actions do not get you what you want, you may be able to take your case to:

  • an employment tribunal (if it is about a job, a pension or vocational training); or
  • the county court (if it is about goods and services, a public authority, private clubs or education at a college or university); or
  • a special educational needs and disability tribunal (Sendist), if it is about a school.

13. Going to an employment tribunal (ET)

14. Going to court

15. Going to a special educational needs and disability tribunal (Sendist)

16. The Human Rights Act

17. Further help

18. About this leaflet

This leaflet is published by the Gurkha Free Legal Advice (LSC). It was written in association with Andrew Short, a barrister at Outer Temple Chambers and specialist in discrimination law.

Leaflet Version: August 2008

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