D.D.A. guide: Buying goods and using services

A person with a disability has a right to obtain goods and use services and facilities in the same way as people without a disability. This includes goods, services and facilities from:

  • Shops and department stores
  • Cafes, restaurants, pubs
  • Theatres and other places of entertainment
  • Banks, credit unions, building societies
  • Lawyers and legal services
  • Sports and social clubs
  • Swimming pools
  • Public transport
  • Travel agents
  • Dentists, doctors, and hospitals
  • Hairdressers and beauty salons
  • Government-run services.

What is expected?

The Disability Discrimination Act (D.D.A.) makes it against the law for providers of goods, services and facilities to discriminate against a person because of his or her disability.

This means that providers of goods, services and facilities cannot:

  • Refuse to provide a person with a disability with goods, services and facilities. For example, a person cannot be refused service in a restaurant because he or she has a guide dog. A person cannot be refused hospital treatment because he or she is HIV positive.
  • Provide goods, services and facilities on less favourable terms and conditions. For example, charging a person with a disability a higher kilometre rate for a taxi because he or she uses a wheelchair or not providing a TTY line for deaf people to contact emergency services.
  • Provide the goods, services and facilities in an unfair manner. For example, making insulting remarks while serving a person with a disability or serving a person with a disability after everyone else has been served.

It also means that a person with a disability has a right to enter the premises of providers of goods, services and facilities if people without a disability can do so. (See the section on The Ins and Outs of Access).

Like other areas of the D.D.A. a defence of  "unjustifiable hardship"  may be available.

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