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

Disability Disability Rights
Friday 14 December, 2012

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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