Demands free education
Often service providers will demand that disabled people educate them around disability access – usually with the expectation that this will be free. Providing access consultancy, education and advice is not a disabled service user’s job! There no reason any random disabled person should be qualified or experienced enough to do the job well. The law says its service providers’ duty to disabled people to provide access, just like it’s a legal duty for service providers to produce accounts. If the business owner can’t do the accounts themselves, they have to find an accountant.
We don’t recommend disabled people provide free education to a service provider who has discriminated against them, for several reasons – including:
- Perpetuating the idea that disabled people’s time and work is not worth anything.
- Using up your precious time and energy on a business or organisation that doesn’t deserve it.
- You may not have enough experience or knowledge of the general access issue to do the job well enough.
One way to respond to this is to direct the Respondent to sources of education and advice, and to be clear that it is not your job. If you do feel you are qualified to provide the work, then consider quoting for your time and work, being clear that disabled people deserve to be paid for our expertise. Be aware that requesting payment for yourself can get a negative reaction. Another downside of doing education yourself is that you can become a suitable scapegoat if there are any misunderstandings or mistakes further down the line.