The Equality Act 2010 is designed to protect you from unfair treatment and to create a more equal society. The Act brings together a range of anti-discrimination laws that have been passed over the last 40 years to make it easier for you to understand your rights and challenge discrimination.
On 1 October 2010 the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA), along with a range of other discrimination laws, was replaced by the Equality Act 2010 in England, Wales and Scotland (in Northern Ireland the DDA is still the law). The Equality Act covers all the provisions in the Disability Discrimination Act as well as some additional protection from indirect discrimination, discrimination arising from disability and discrimination on the basis of association or perception.
If you are registered as blind or partially sighted, then you automatically meet the Equality Act’s definition of a disabled person. If you are not registered, then you might still qualify if your sight loss has a “substantial and long-term effect on your ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities”.
Our Equality Act factsheet answers some of the key questions about how the Equality Act 2010 affects blind and partially sighted people. This factsheet also includes some real-life examples of discrimination that blind and partially sighted people have faced.
RNIB and the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association have produced an Equality Act toolkit which includes information about your rights under the Act, as well as details of the most effective way to challenge discrimination where you have been refused access to a service because you have a guide dog.
For people in Northern Ireland, the Disability Discrimination Act applies:
Our Equality Act and employment factsheet gives more information about your rights in work and when applying for jobs, including how you can challenge discrimination by an employer through an Employment Tribunal.
Remember, no matter what your query our Helpline team are ready to help. If you need detailed information or advice about challenging discrimination, our Helpline team may refer you on to our Legal Rights team. Call