Equality Act – Reasonable Adjustment

This is something we are always asked about.  What is a reasonable adjustment, when should someone make a reasonable adjustment, etc.

This is an extract from a Government paper called “Equality Act 2010: What do I need to know?  Disability Quick Start Guide“.  

 

What?  How?  When?  Where?  Why?

What? How? When? Where? Why?

What reasonable adjustments do you have to make for disabled people?
Service providers are required to make changes, where needed, to improve service for disabled customers or potential customers. There is a legal requirement to make reasonable changes to the way things are done (such as changing a policy), to
the built environment (such as making changes to the structure of a building to improve access) and to provide auxiliary aids and services (such as providing information in an accessible format, an induction loop for customers with hearing aids, special computer software or additional staff support when using a service).

Where a service is delivered from a building that cannot be made accessible through reasonable adjustments, it may be a reasonable adjustment to provide the service at a different venue, including a home visit.

Reasonable changes are required wherever disabled customers or potential customers would otherwise be at a substantial disadvantage compared with non-disabled people. A substantial disadvantage is more than a minor or trivial disadvantage. Service providers cannot charge disabled customers for reasonable adjustments.

What is reasonable will depend on all the circumstances, including the cost of an adjustment, the potential benefit it might bring to other customers (ramps and automatic doors benefit customers with small children or heavy luggage, for example), the resources an organisation has and how practical the changes are.

The Equality Act 2010 requires that service providers must think ahead and take steps to
address barriers that impede disabled people. In doing this, it is a good idea to consider the range of disabilities that your actual or potential service users might have. You should not wait until a disabled person experiences difficulties using a service, as this may make it too late to make the necessary adjustment.

Example
Sandra is arranging a conference for her charity to discuss new ways of fundraising. She looks at a number of venues to find one that has good physical adaptations with accessible toilets, an induction loop and places for people to eat their lunch at tables if they want to.   She contacts speakers and participants beforehand to ask if they have any disability-related requirements, such as a sign language interpreter or information in alternative formats.

Does this make sense?  What other questions do you have?

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