Organisations and resources
Project by Disability Rights UK to increase awareness of the Equality Act. Provides accessibility rights information in specific areas such as the cinema and access to buses. They provide template complaint letters which can be easily adapted for your situation.
The Disability Justice Project which is part of Inclusion London has a range of template letters covering a range of disability discrimination issues (public transport, physical barriers, accessible information and communication, access to public consultation and engagement, accessible housing, social care, human rights, hate crime and employment/work rights).
Service for supporting people to take disability access complaints against transport providers. DTACS provides training to individuals on collecting evidence to take claims.
Stammering Law provides easy to read comprehensive information about many aspects of UK law and disability discrimination, concepts and specific legal cases. While they focus on stammering, much of the content is more widely applicable.
A guide by Doug Paulley, one of Reasonable Access’s co-founders, for disabled people about your legal rights around access to services, public transport, information governance and navigating the legal system.
DART does have a few out of date bits now as the author is a single busy disabled person, so we include a list of known corrections and updates to the still excellent DART document below:
- Section 5: Course fees have been updated: See Reasonable Access Court Fees info instead.
- Section 9: Subject Access Request is now Right of Access as there’s a new Data Protection Act 2018 (following on from the GDPR General Data Protection Regulation) which changes terminology a bit but the old terminology should still be understood. See Reasonable Access’s Data Protection page for more info.
- Section 11: Damages have been updated each year with the courts publishing new values each April. See Reasonable Access’s Equality Act and Financial Damages information
- Section 12 Claim Form: There is updated wording for Statements of Truth on the N1 form, make sure you use those rather than the DART version and check the Civil Procedure Rules, Part 22 Statements of Truth for the latest correct variant.
- Section 13: Particulars of Claim: See Statements of Truth info above.
- Section 14: Send to the Court. There is additional information at Reasonable Access’s Getting your claim filed in the right place and fixing errors area.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission, more commonly referred to by its initials EHRC, is an organisation given certain powers by the Westminster government to challenge discrimination in England and Wales. They publish extensive guidance documents about discrimination and legal rights (across all characteristics including disability) and statutory guidance (which is legally very useful).
The Northern Irish Equality Commission handles discrimination issues which are a devolved issue.
Scotland specific EHRC website.
Wales specific EHRC website.
ACAS outline of employment issues and disability discrimination.
Equal Treatment Bench Book (ETBB) Legal and Court System Guide (England and Wales)
The Equal Treatment Bench Book (ETBB) is an official Courts and Tribunals Judiciary publication (updated every 6-12 months or so) covering all aspects of equality and diversity across protected characteristics and more. For disabled people it includes brief information and links to information about different impairments, as well as suggested inclusive practices and ‘reasonable adjustments’ for the legal system. It is useful to draw attention to this guide if you have any dealings with the legal system. It also contains information about Litigants in Person (LiPs) – that is, people who take legal cases entirely or partly without legal representation (a lawyer or barrister).
Equal Treatment Bench Book for the Scottish Legal system covering all aspects of equality and diversity. It is a separate publication because the Scottish legal system is very different to that in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Welfare benefits advice
While Reasonable Access is not experienced in social security law, we can recommend that people seek advice from one of the following types of organisations.
Disability Rights UK
Disability Rights UK has a page for organisations giving advice, benefits support and debt management.
Money Advice Service
The government established Money Advice Service has a page on where to get benefits advice and help.
Equally Ours is a organisation which supports welfare benefits advisers to support people accessing benefits. They are encouraging using the Equality Act as one tool in the benefits system via their freely available Equality and welfare benefits advice handbook.
Law firms who do disability discrimination cases
Deighton Pierce Glynn has a range of expertise in discrimination law issues. They have special expertise in the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED)
As well as expertise across protected characteristics including disability and a range of areas, Leigh Day covers employment discrimination cases.
Sinclairs Law take education cases covering schools and the SEND tribunal as well as Higher Education law issues. They cover disability discrimination in these specific contexts.
Legal firms with a wide range of disability related expertise including public law, mental capacity, social care, education and discrimination are listed by the Disability Justice Project.
Other legal support
The Law Centres Network lets you search for local law centres by geography or a listed place name. Some law centres can assist with employment, welfare rights or general discrimination issues.
Law Works have a network of clinics around England and Wales covering various areas of law. There is no guarantee they can cover disability discrimination but they are worth trying.
Support Through Court (formerly Personal Support Unit (PSU))
A free service across England and Wales, providing support and guidance before, during, and after court with paperwork and processes (but cannot provide legal advice).
Disability Law Service provides free legal advice to disabled people and their carers, covering community care, employment, housing and benefits law. Their website has useful factsheets.
The RNIB (Royal National Institute for the Blind) Legal Rights Service can provide information, advice and occasionally formal representation for Equality Act, Community Care and Benefits law.
Deaf Law UK (Information only)
Deaf Law UK has some resources and information in English and British Sign Language (BSL) about access rights. http://www.deaflaw.uk/.
Sinclair Law specialise in Higher Education and may be able to help with disability discrimination issues for Higher Education (university) students.
Spreadsheet of UK disability discrimination legal cases complaints
Natalya has compiled a spreadsheet of disability discrimination cases and complaints using public information such as news articles. It is best used with filters or searches e.g. “dog” for assistance dog cases.
The spreadsheet is split into two worksheets:
- Approx 195 legal cases which have resulted in a legal outcome with links where possible to the judgment and commentary.
- 560 cases reported online (media, webpages and ombudsman services etc) with a summary and links to online reporting.
Freely available online
Sara Ahmed, a now independent academic and scholar, started collecting written and oral testimony about people’s experiences of complaining about sexual harassment and misconduct in universities. This automatically widened to include related issues around racist and disablist harassment. Sara writes about how institutions and Power protect themselves from complaint in various ways. We will link to Sara’s book on this once it is published.
In our view many of the books around equality law and disability discrimination are not always helpful for Litigants in Person or for taking cases given how much they can cost. We recommend checking your library service for a copy. These are listed for general interest.
Discrimination in Employment
“Discrimination in employment: a claims handbook” by Declan O’Dempsey a barrister at Cloister’s chambers. Published in 2013 by the Legal Action Group (LAG). This book costs around £55 as print or ebook, or £74 as a combined bundle.
Disability and Equality Law in Britain
“Disability and Equality Law in Britain: The Role of Reasonable Adjustment” by Anna Lawson, published in 2008 by Hart publishing. Available in print or EPUB ebook for around £35-£45.
This book pre-dates the Equality Act (so still has the old DDA) which limits its practical use. It’s largely of interest for the development of the law and concept of ‘reasonable’ adjustments/accommodations in different areas.
Companies and Charities
UK company information including their legal name and address, financial information and directors names and details can be found using Companies House company search tool.
There are different charity commissions for England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland which provide correspondence addresses, trustee details and financial information for Charities and Charitable organisations: