The Equality Act 2010 and you….

Who does the Equality Act apply to?

The Equality Act applies to all employers regardless of size;  those in the business of providing goods and services; trade organizations including trade unions and membership organizations.  The former Disability Rights Commission produced Codes of Practice for employers, service providers and trade organisations, more information is available from the Equality and Human Rights Commission website at

http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/equality-act

Who or what is the Disability Rights Commission?

The Disability Rights Commission (DRC) was an independent body established in April 2000 by Act of Parliament to stop discrimination and promote equality of opportunity for disabled people. In October 2007 the DRC was subsumed into the Commission for Equality and Human Rights who also took over from the Commission of Racial Equality and the Equal Opportunies Commission to become a single equality body.  For more information go to The Equality and Human Rights Commission

What does the Disability Equality Duty mean in respect of Deaf employees and Deaf service users?

The Disability Equality Duty requires the public sector to actively promote disability equality, and is similar to the duty to promote race equality under the Race Relations (Amendment) Act.  This is a positive duty which builds in disability equality at the beginning of the process, rather than make adjustments at the end.  It brings about a shift from a legal framework which relies on individual disabled people complaining about discrimination to one in which the public sector becomes a proactive agent of change.

What is the Equality Act mean and who does it apply to?

In 2010 the Equality Act superceded The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995. This Act affects all public bodies – from local councils to government departments, from universities to hospitals.  An important part of this is that employers and service providers are required to consult with disabled people. It is important that Deaf people are given the opportunity to make their views known in such consultations and that employers and service providers audits and monitoring can be judged to be inclusive to Deaf people.  More information is available from the Equality and Human Rights Commission website at http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/equality-act