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, cafés, 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 licences 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.
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.
Your rights in education
The Special Educational Needs and Disability Order 2005 and subsequent Disability Discrimination Order 2006 (DDO):
- makes itunlawful 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 - your rights
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 favourably 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 Act 1983 covers the assessment, treatment and rights of people with a mental health condition.
The Mental Capacity Act aims to protect people with learning disabilities and mental health conditions. It provides clear guidelines for carers and professionals about who can take decisions in which situations.
Your rights - 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.
Help and advice from the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland
The Equality Commission can provide free and confidential advice and assistance to people who believe that they have been discriminated against for a reason related to their disability.
It also provides free general advice to employers and service providers on recommended good practice under the DDA.
You can call the Equality Commission on the following number or visit its website for more information.
For more information contact the Equality Commission:
- phone: 028 90 500 600 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm)
- textphone: 028 9050 0589
- email: email@example.com
- Equality Commission for Northern Ireland website
- Equality Commission for Northern Ireland (contacts section)
UNCRPD – disability rights
The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission have been designated as the 'independent mechanism' for the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UNCRPD).
They are monitoring the implementation of UNCRPD, holding decision makers to account and will report to a UN committee on how the Convention is being implemented.