The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (informally, and hereafter, the DDA) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which has now been repealed and replaced by the Equality Act 2010, except in Northern Ireland where the Act still applies. Formerly, it made it unlawful to discriminate against people in respect of their disabilities in relation to employment, the provision of goods and services, education and transport.
The DDA is a civil rights law. Other countries use constitutional, social rights or criminal law to make similar provisions. The Equality and Human Rights Commission combats discrimination. Equivalent legislation exists in Northern Ireland, which is enforced by the Northern Ireland Equality Commission. The Act was the culmination of a public campaign, and at least 100,000 people in demonstrations, to force the government to end state and business discrimination against disabled [login to view URL] the Race Relations Act 1976 and the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 guaranteed minimum standards for equality on grounds of race and gender, there had been very little concerning disabled people. Prior to the DDA, the first attempt to deal with the issue of disability was the Disabled Persons (Employment) Act 1944. This made it a legal requirement for companies with over 250 employees to employ a quota of disabled persons. This failed as there was not now appointed to monitor these rights and as such was toothless. Service providers
In addition to imposing obligations on employers, the Act placed duties on service providers and required "reasonable adjustments" to be made when providing access to goods, facilities, services and premises.
The duties on service providers have been introduced in three stages:
Since 2 December 1994 – It has been unlawful for service providers to treat disabled people less favourably for a reason related to their disability;
Since 1 October 2002 – Service providers have had to make 'reasonable adjustments' for disabled people, such as providing extra help or making changes to the way they provide their services.
Since 1 October 2004 – Service providers may have to make other 'reasonable adjustments' in relation to the physical features of their premises to overcome physical barriers to access.
Amending legislation =
The Act was amended by the following legislation in Great Britain (but not Northern Ireland, where different amendments apply):
The Disability Rights Commission Act 1999, which replaced the National Disability Council with the Disability Rights Commission (DRC);
The Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001 inserted new provisions in Part 4 of the DDA 1995 in connection with disability discrimination in schools and other educational establishments;
The Private Hire Vehicles (Carriage of Guide Dogs etc) Act 2002, which prevented operators of such vehicles refusing to take assistance dogs, or making additional charges for such dogs.
The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (Amendment) Regulations 2003, and the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (Pensions) Regulations 2003 which amended the DDA in line with the EU employment directive.
The Disability Discrimination Act 2005, which completed the implementation of the Disability Rights Task Force recommendations, including the extension of the DDA 1995 to cover public transport, and the introduction of a duty on public authorities to promote equality for disabled people.
The Equality Act 2006 which transferred the role of the Disability Rights Commission to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). The EHRC took on this role from 1 October 2007, and has powers to issue guidance on and enforce all the equality enactments (covering race, sex, disability, religion and belief, sexual orientation and age).
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