The Disability Discrimination Act (“DDA”) commenced 25 years ago. The Act was designed to create equality for persons with disabilities in many areas of life.
Over the past 25 years the DDA has contributed significantly to social change for people with a disability and has been used to fight against discriminatory practices in many fields, including employment, education, access to transport, goods, services, facilities and more. However, people with disabilities still face many hurdles in daily life. The Australian Human Rights Commission receives more complaints of disability than any other discrimination area. Most of these complaints relate to employment.
The fundamental principles of the DDA are to ‘eliminate, as far as possible, discrimination against persons on the ground of disability’ and ‘to ensure, as far as practicable, that persons with disabilities have the same rights to equality before the law as the rest of the community’. There are legislated Disability Standards in areas of public transport, education and access to premises. It is an offence to contravene these standards. These standards provide guidance for governments, businesses people with disabilities themselves.
The DDA and the standards which are legislated under the Act provide a way to achieve equality and dignity for people with disabilities.
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