Clear Picture of the United Kingdom Equality Act 2010 on Disability
What condition or state counts as disability?
It is common to find people parading around as PWDs and, even worse, seeking favors and sympathy by claiming to be Persons with Disabilities and yet they are not. Apart from creating awareness on disability, and advocating for inclusivity of all persons in every part of society, it is good to clearly outline what disability means. Understanding disability in its different forms will help everyone to understand the challenges Persons with Disabilities face in their day to day activities and accommodate them.
Lack of information on who qualifies as disabled is one factor which has facilitated cases of discrimination, neglect, and harassment of PWDs. For instance, some service providers and employers do not see the need to have sign language interpreters, construct ramps, and effective washrooms for the physically disabled in their business premises. It could be because they do not expect to receive persons with disability or rather, it is a sign of neglect- all of which sum up to discrimination.
Nevertheless, it is important to clear the air about the fact that having a certain body or health condition does not necessarily qualify a person as a PWD. Here is a gist of what does.
The Equality Act 2010 of the United Kingdom defines disability as having a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term negative effect on a person’s ability to perform normal day-to-day activities. The Equality Act 2010 protects such persons against any form of discrimination.
- Persons with Albinism
- Physically Challenged Persons
- The Blind
- The Deaf
- Persons with Autism
- Mentally Challenged Persons
Section 6 of the Equality Act 2010 mentions several conditions that are considered disability. This is to create a clear picture of what is considered a disability and what does not. There are several impairments considered by the law even though most people do not know them.
Rare Cases Considered Disability
- Cancer and skin growths that need removing before they become cancerous
- Different categories of visual impairment – certified as blind, severely sight impaired, sight impaired or partially sighted
- Multiple sclerosis
- HIV/AIDS infection – even if you do not have any symptoms
- Severe long-term disfigurement- for example, severe facial scarring or a skin disease
However, not all conditions qualify as disability, and the Act states a variety which people confuse to be disability. These are:
Addictions – addictions to drugs such as nicotine, cocaine, alcohol, or any other substance does not qualify as an impairment unless the addiction is because of a medically prescribed drug.
Tattoos and piercings – certain blemishes or disfigurements are not considered a disability because it has no substantial effect on a person’s ability to carry out day-to-day activities. Tattoos and piercings are examples of such so-called disfigurements.
Conditions not Considered Disability
- Tendency to set fires
- Tendency to steal
- Tendency to abuse other persons physically or sexually
- Seasonal Allergies
By: Linzer Kibebe