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The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA)

Find out about the legislation that is in place to promote civil rights for people with disabilities and to protect people with disabilities from discrimination.

Disability rights in everyday life

This page is mainly about the Disability Discrimination Act itself. You can find out about your rights in different areas of life, including accessing and using the services of shops, cafés and banks from the link below.

The Disability Discrimination Act

The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995 aims to end the discrimination that faces many people with disabilities. This Act has been significantly extended, including by the Disability Discrimination (NI) Order 2006 (DDO). It now gives people with disabilities rights in the areas of:

  • employment
  • education
  • access to goods, facilities and services, including larger private clubs and transport services
  • buying or renting land or property, including making it easier for people with disabilities to rent property and for tenants to make disability-related adaptations
  • functions of public bodies, for example issuing of licences

The legislation requires public bodies to promote equality of opportunity for people with disabilities. It also allows the government to set minimum standards so that people with disabilities can use public transport easily.

The Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister (OFMDFM) website offers further information, including details on the changes made by the DDO 2006.

The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland (ECNI) website has plenty of information on disability discrimination and highlights the changes made under the DDO.

Getting hold of a copy of the Disability Discrimination Act

The Act is published on the legislation.gov.uk website.

The DDO 2006 is also published on the legislation.gov.uk website.

Print copy

Print versions of the legislation are published by the Stationery Office (TSO) and can be bought. The ISBN number is 0105450952 for the 1995 Act and ISBN 0110800206 for the 2006 Order.

Autism and the DDA

The Autism Act (NI) 2011 has amended the DDA to clarify whether the term disability applies to autism spectrum conditions. It makes it clear that a condition which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on someone’s ability to take part in normal social interaction or in forming social relationships can constitute a disability.

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