Legal information for disabled students

The Equality Act

The Equality Act 2010 was launched in October 2010 and replaces the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA).

The Act carries forward the protection that the Disability Discrimination Act provided for disabled people and introduces some new forms of protection, for example, protection from indirect discrimination. Essentially, The Equality Act 2010 means that an employer cannot treat a disabled person less favourably for a reason related to their disability.

Furthermore an employer is required to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ at work and at interview if a disabled person is placed at a significant disadvantage. This could mean, for example, a recruiter might give more time to an applicant with dyslexia when undertaking a verbal reasoning test. While it is unlikely you will need to consult The Equality Act 2010 during your job hunt or while at work, full guidance is available on the The Home Office site.


There are two main ways in which an employer can avoid discriminating against a person with a disability or disabilities.

The first, as stated within the Equality Act 2010, is that an employer must not treat a disabled person less favourably than a non disabled person for any reason relating to their disability.

The second states that when a person applies for or performs a job, the employer must make any 'reasonable adjustments' required by that person in order for them to perform to the best of their ability and compete on a level playing field, and also ensure they do not experience less favourable treatment than other employees.

Legal help

You can seek legal advice from the Disability Law Service, a national charity which provides advice and information in these areas of law:

  • Disability Discrimination
  • Goods and Services
  • Community Care
  • Employment
  • Welfare Benefits