Maybe you’ve heard of the Disability Discrimination Act or DDA. The objects of this Act are to (in short) eliminate, as far as possible, discrimination against persons on the ground of disability. The DDA covers, employment, housing, learning, access to premises, clubs, and sport, among other things. It seeks to ensure, as far as practicable, that persons with disabilities are equal before the law. And it seeks to promote recognition and acceptance within the community of persons with disabilities. Thus, a wheelchair-friendly lift, for example, is complying with the DDA.
Not everyone is aware that the Act also concerns discrimination in relation to carers, assistants, assistant animals, and disability aids. Or put another way, supportive helpers are also covered, including animals such as guide dogs. In the case of a lift, that means a visually impaired person may bring his or her support animal. Or maybe the individual is supported by a nurse for medical reasons. There are many situations too numerous to list.
According to the Australian Human Rights Commission: ‘Disability discrimination happens when people with a disability are treated less fairly than people without a disability. Disability discrimination also occurs when people are treated less fairly because they are relatives, friends, carers, co-workers or associates of a person with a disability.’
In near conclusion, the DDA does recognise “unjustifiable hardship” meaning that there are always some notable exceptions to any general rule. So, a person who can’t afford to provide a certain level of care will not be punished, disabled or not.
At Next Level Elevators, we oppose disability discrimination and support disability rights. Every area and facility open to the public should include everyone where possible. Naturally, this includes disabled people and their respective supporters across Australia. Together we’re strong.