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What has the DDA done for you?

05 November 2020

On Sunday 8 November, it will be 25 years since the passing of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), the first civil rights legislation in the UK relating to disabled people. The DDA came 20 years after legislation outlawing race discrimination and sex discrimination, and we can thank the disability rights campaigners of the 1980s and 1990s for the fact it came at all.

Of course there is still a lot wrong with the way society treats disabled people, negative attitudes to us persist, inclusive design is not the norm and the benefits, support and services that some of us rely on have been drastically reduced. But none of this should stop us celebrating the DDA and expressing our heartfelt thanks to those who made it possible, the disability rights campaigners and Parliamentarians.

What has the DDA done for you? Email us at tellus@disabilityrightsuk.org.

We asked disabled colleagues at Disability Rights UK what the DDA has done for them.

They said:

It gave me the right to ask for reasonable adjustments to help me apply for and keep a job. 

It meant I could receive the first pay slip I could read

It enabled me to get braille bank statements

It gave me the right to assistance to get on and off trains

It meant I could stand up against hostility from the public knowing the law was on my side

It lets me get support at the gym to use the equipment

It empowers me to ask for accessible health information

It helped many disabled people to access buses and taxis and to be able to use different means of transport

It helps me to be able to work and make use of the Access to Work scheme

It meant that counters in banks and ATM machines had to be installed in a lower (wheelchair accessible) position

It helped some people’s attitudes change to see us as disabled people with more positivity

Places of worship are more accessible to disabled people

Hospital wards became more accessible to disabled people with more complex physical needs

Pools were made accessible with hoists and other equipment

It meant that schools had a duty to provide accessible education

It meant that transport became more accessible – I was no longer expected to travel in the guard’s carriage with some livestock

Insurance companies could no longer load my quotes because of my impairment (car insurance / life insurance)

New buildings such as shopping centres and cinemas had to be accessible – I was no longer a fire hazard, a reason used to keep me out of the cinema

It means that I have to be recognised as having the right to access shops, leisure facilities, education, housing and transport, rather than being seen as an inconvenience for even asking

It was the ability to see that my hidden disabilities and my mental health condition were not matters to be ashamed of, that others had similar conditions and went about life to the best of their abilities

It was the fact that there is a better chance of getting opportunities for work and positions of influence

It is the fact that there is the ability to legally challenge anyone or any business which tried to infringe on my rights to enjoy full engagement with society

It is being respected by statutory bodies, companies and government for involvement in improving the place of disabled people in their business and policy creation