D.D.A. guide: Who does the D.D.A. protect?
The definition of "disability" in the DDA includes:
- Neurological, and
- Learning disabilities, as well as
- Physical disfigurement, and
- The presence in the body of disease-causing organisms.
This broad definition is meant to ensure that everyone with a disability is protected.
The DDA covers a disability which people:
- Have now,
- Had in the past (for example: a past episode of mental illness),
- May have in the future (eg: a family history of a disability which a person may also develop),
- Are believed to have (for example: if people think someone has AIDS).
The DDA also covers people with a disability who may be discriminated against because:
- They are accompanied by an assistant, interpreter or reader,
- They are accompanied by a trained animal, such as a guide or hearing dog, or
- They use equipment or an aid, such as a wheelchair or a hearing aid.
The DDA also protects people who have some form of personal connection with a person with a disability like relatives, friends, carers and co-workers if they are discriminated against because of that connection or relationship. For example, it is unlawful discrimination if:
- A parent is refused a job because the employer assumes he or she will need time off work to look after a child with a disability
- People are refused access to a restaurant because they are with a friend who has a disability
- A carer of a person with a disability is refused accommodation because of his or her association with the person with a disability
- A worker is hassled about working with a person with a disability.
Harassment because of disability, such as insults or humiliating jokes, is unlawful in employment, education and in the provision of goods, services and facilities.