The Equality Act was passed on 8th April 2010. The Act aims to harmonise and simplify previous equality legislation, including the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), and extends its coverage to new areas. In relation to disability this includes additional grounds for discrimination i.e. direct discrimination; indirect discrimination; failure to make Reasonable Adjustments; and discrimination 'arising from a disability'. The Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) came into force on 5th April 2011, replacing the previous separate equality duties for race, disability and gender.
The Equality Act introduces the terminology of 'protected characteristics' to define groups covered under the legislation. These are Age, Disability, Gender Reassignment, Marriage and Civil Partnership, Pregnancy and Maternity, Race, Religion or Belief, Sex, and Sexual Orientation.
The definition of disability under the Equality Act remains the same as under the DDA i.e. a disabled person is defined as someone who has 'a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities'. The University is also still required to make reasonable adjustments to meet the needs of disabled staff, disabled students and other disabled users of the University's facilities and services, including all aspects of learning and teaching.
In addition, the University is now required to publish an Equality Outcome Plan and an annual Mainstreaming Report to demonstrate how we are fulfilling our legal obligations with respect to the Specific Duties of the PSED and to report progress towards meeting our equality outcomes: University of Dundee's response to the Public Sector Equality Duty
Further details of the requirements of the Equality Act are available from our disability legislation resources, the University's Equality and Diversity web pages and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). In particular, the EHRC's Technical Guidance on further and higher education.
The University's previous Disability Equality Schemes provide a background to our disability provision: