Information Services

Legal requirements

Where to find information on the legal requirements relevant to disability.

In October 2010, the Equality Act replaced previous discrimination legislation.

It attempts to consolidate previous equality legislation including:

  • the Disability Discrimination Act
  • the Race Relations Act
  • the Sex Discrimination Act

The legalisation is focused around nine protected characteristics, which are age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation Many of the details of the legislation remain the same, although there are some important changes.

A copy of the new Equality Act can be found on the government legislation website.

Equality Act 2010

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) also has some useful guidance which can be found on their website.

Equality and Human Rights Commission guidance

Scottish Specific Regulations 2012

The Scottish Specific Duty Regulations were laid before the Scottish Parliament in April and came into force on 27 May 2012. They provide the framework for how public bodies in Scotland, including the University, should respond and tackle the specific duty laid upon them under the Equality Act 2010. The Welsh and English governments have passed their own Specific Duty Regulations. The following is a link to the Scottish Specific Duty Regulations.

Scottish Specific Duty Regulations

As part of these Specific Duty Regulations the University is required to publish equality outcomes.

Updated Equality Outcomes for the period 2021 to 2025 have been published, replacing the previous set from 2017-2021.

Equality Outcomes 2021-2025

A progress report for the previous set of outcomes is also available.

Equality Outcomes 2017-2021 Progress Report 

Equality Impact Assessments

In addition, as part of these Specific Duty Regulations the University is required to equality impact assess its policies, practices and procedures. Information and guidance on when and how to conduct Equality Impact Assessments is available on the HR website by following the link below. If you are an IS staff member and would like assistance with your Equality Impact Assessments please contact Viki Galt, Disability Information Officer, on the contact details provided at the bottom of the page.

Equality Impact Assessments 

The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018

In 2018 The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 were passed into UK Law.

The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018

These regulations build on the existing requirements under the Equality Act 2010 to ensure public sector bodies, including the University, have accessible websites and applications. It defines accessibility as compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 AA standards.

It also requires all websites, applications and mobile applications to have accessibility statements. The regulations cover both internal and external facing websites and applications.

Accessibility Statements 

Accessibility statements must be published in an HTML format and linked to from the footer of each page within the site. They must also strictly follow the government template.

Government Sample Accessibility Statement Template

To write an accessibility statement you must test the website or application manually and not just use automated testing. In addition, it is a requirement that you test with various pieces of assistive software including screen readers such as JAWS/NVDA, voice recognition software such as Dragon and mobile accessibility features such as voice over/talk back.  

For people within the University we have created wiki guidance on the creation of accessibility statements and regularly run training on how to create accessibility statements. If you would be interested in attending this training please contact Viki Galt at the contact details at the bottom of this page.

More Information

The University Equality and Diversity webpages have more information on how the University meets its legal duties, details on our monitoring and statistics and further information on the legislation.

University of Edinburgh equality and diversity webpage

Request an alternative format

To request this document in an alternative format, such as large print or on coloured paper, please contact Viki Galt, the Disability Information Officer.


BSL users can contact me via contactSCOTLAND-BSL, the on-line British Sign Language interpreting service. Find out more on the contactSCOTLAND website.


Viki Galt

Disability Information Officer

  • Information Services

Contact details



Argyle House
Floor F West
3 Lady Lawson Street

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