D2 – Bingo: We have to treat everyone the same

A common response to request adjustments or access is to be told that it would be unfair on other people or that everyone has to be treated equally.

This is explicitly untrue.

If someone tells you they have to treat everyone fairly then tell them to read the relevant Code of Practice as “more favourably” will show that they don’t have to do that if the other person is disabled.

Reasonable adjustments

The duty to make reasonable adjustments (the most commonly and easily used part of the Equality Act and DDA) is often about treating disabled people differently to achieve ‘equality of outcome’ by the organisation taking “reasonable steps” to change all sorts of things.

Indirect discrimination

If treating everyone exactly the same leaves one group of people more likely to be at a disadvantage, this might be something called “indirect discrimination”.

In disability terms this can be a group such as “powered wheelchair users” or “visually impaired people”.

Lawful to favour disabled people

It is actually lawful to favour disabled people under the Equality Act and DDA if to do otherwise would mean the disabled person was “put at a substantial disadvantage”.

This is covered in Section 13(3) of the Equality Act under direct discrimination.

Back to Disability Access Bingo