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4 In Causes

Rights of Disabled

People with disabilities’ rights in everyday life

Find out about your rights as a person with disabilities in different areas of life, including in employment, health and education.


Access to Goods, Premises and Services

The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) gives people with disabilities important rights not to be discriminated against:

  • in accessing everyday goods and services like shops, cafes, banks, cinemas and places of worship
  • in buying or renting land or property
  • in accessing facilities such as becoming a member of a larger private club (25 or more members)
  • in accessing the functions of public bodies – the issuing of licenses for example
  • Access to everyday services 

Your Rights in Employment

It is unlawful for employers to discriminate against people with disabilities for a reason related to their disability, in all aspects of employment, unless this can be justified. Justification is only possible in certain circumstances.

  • Employment rights and the Disability Discrimination Act


Your Rights in Health

The DDA gives people with disabilities rights of access to health services and social services, such as doctors’ surgeries, dental surgeries and hospitals.

You also have a right to information about healthcare and social services in a format that is accessible to you where it is reasonable for the service provider to provide it in that format.

  • Rights of access to health and social care 

Your Rights in Education

The Special Educational Needs and Disability Order 2005 and subsequent Disability Discrimination Order 2006 (DDO):

  • makes it unlawful for education providers to discriminate against pupils with disabilities, including students and adult learners
  • makes sure people with disabilities are not disadvantaged in comparison with people who do not have disabilities
  • Learning and your rights


Buying and Renting Property

Under the DDA it is unlawful for landlords and other persons connected with the selling, letting and managing of premises to treat disabled people less favorably for a reason related to their disability, unless they can show that the treatment is justified.

The Disability Discrimination (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 amends or extends existing provisions in the DDA 1995 and includes, for example, making it easier for disabled people to rent property and for tenants to make disability-related adaptations.

  • Tax on property and rental income (money, tax and benefits section)
  • Building regulations (property and housing section)


Mental Health and Your Rights

Many people with a mental health condition may not think of themselves as having a ‘disability’ – but they have rights under the Disability Discrimination Act.

The Mental Health NI Order 1986 covers the assessment, treatment and rights of people with a mental health condition.

  • Mental health and the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) (health and well-being section)
  • The Mental Health NI Order 1986


Motoring and Transport

People with disabilities have rights of access in relation to motoring, transport and the travel infrastructure (such as railway stations and airports) under the Disability Discrimination Act.

The Disability Discrimination Act also means that you have a right to information about transport (timetables, for example) in a format that is accessible to you, where it is reasonable for the transport provider to provide it in that format.

  • Your rights – motoring and transport