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.