1st October 2010 by Liam McGee
The new Equality Act comes into force today, the 1st October 2010. It draws together a raft of legislation previously scattered throughout a variety of other acts, including the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA).
The full text of the act can be found at the snappily titled http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2010/ukpga_20100015_en_1, and a little digging has unearthed the following items of interest to website owners and website developers.
- The act applies to websites: SCHEDULE 25: Information society services
- The act defines reasonable adjustments: SCHEDULE 2: Services and public functions: reasonable adjustments
- The act is in part a response to the Directive on electronic commerce
- The duty to make adjustments includes:
- a requirement “where a provision, criterion or practice… puts a disabled person at a substantial disadvantage in relation to a relevant matter in comparison with persons who are not disabled, to take such steps as it is reasonable to have to take to avoid the disadvantage”.
- a requirement “where a disabled person would, but for the provision of an auxiliary aid, be put at a substantial disadvantage in relation to a relevant matter in comparison with persons who are not disabled, to take such steps as it is reasonable to have to take to provide the auxiliary aid.”
- Regulations may make provision as to “things which are, or which are not, to be treated as physical features”; “things which are, or which are not, to be treated as alterations of physical features”; “things which are, or which are not, to be treated as auxiliary aids” (Section 22)
- “A person (A) discriminates against a disabled person (B) if— A treats B unfavourably because of something arising in consequence of B’s disability, and A cannot show that the treatment is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim… (Section 19)
More when we get a moment to plough through the detail. Or, if anyone would like to have a go themselves in the meantime and comment…?