The Equality Act was passed in April 2010 and the first provisions became effective from 1 October 2010. The Act consolidates and streamlines anti-discrimination legislation, including the Disability Discrimination Act.
Universities and higher education institutions (HEIs) have legal obligations and a requirement to eliminate discrimination and advance equality of opportunity.
The Equality Act defines what discrimination is unlawful. This includes harassment and victimisation.
The Act states how discrimination can arise from disability. There are 3 conditions listed, that if met, will mean that the institution will have been found to discriminate against disabled people.
The University is required to take reasonable steps to ensure that disabled students can fully participate in the education and services provided for students. This means the University may be required to make 'reasonable adjustments'.
The Equality Act provisions include a Public Sector Equality Duty which covers public bodies, including most universities.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission guidance sets out clearly what the legislation means for disabled students in further and higher education.
This article was published on Mar 22, 2013