Disability Discrimination Act
The new Disability Discrimination Act, which has just received Royal Assent, has been welcomed as a major piece of civil rights legislation by the Disability Rights Commission (DRC).
The legislation includes new rights for disabled people using transport and better protection for mental health service users, people with HIV, Multiple Sclerosis and cancer. It also contains new rights for disabled people wanting to adapt rented property.
Chairman of the DRC, Bert Massie said:
“The Act is a major advance in civil rights for Britain’s 10 million disabled people and those with long term health conditions and a substantial step forward in ending the discrimination disabled people experience.
The Act amends the definition of disability in the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) to clearly include more mental health service users and more people with HIV, cancer and multiple sclerosis – these changes were also welcomed by the DRC today. Mr Massie said:
“Many people with mental illnesses have experienced humiliation and stress when bringing disability discrimination cases. Many people have not been protected by the law and denied rights because their condition was not ‘clinically well-recognised’. The Act will remove this perverse injustice.
“It will also mean that people with HIV, MS and cancer will now be protected from the point of diagnosis. These conditions attract a great deal of stigma from the point of diagnosis, and it is right that the DDA should apply from this point.
“We warmly welcome the introduction of the new Act and thank members from all sides for its cross-party support and swift passage through Parliament.”