NAG Logo with charity No. 1028658
Home About Us Access Information Transport Projects Useful Links News

NAG is a registered charity No. 1028658

NAG is funded by Norwich City Council

If you feel that you have been on the receiving end of discrimination because of your impairment it's important to try to remedy the situation. It's down to all of us to help make the Equality Act work. The law is with us but we have to give it teeth.

If we say or do nothing, nothing will change.

So the next time you have trouble accessing services such as entering a building or using the loo in a pub or making yourself heard in a noisy café or seeing the way around a dimly lit department store…….

· Step One - the first step is to talk to the owner. Explain the problem. If possible offer a solution. If this isn't easy to spot then leave them to consider ways of making their service/premises accessible. Ask them to contact you or say that you will be back in a couple of weeks' time.

If this meets with a positive reaction then give them time to come up with a solution giving them every encouragement. If the response is not so good, contact your local Access Group for advice and support.

· Step Two - you return to the premises and they have obviously been thinking things through and have some good ideas for improving access. Listen carefully, discuss and offer every encouragement.

Or

You return to the premises and they haven't given it the slightest thought or have in fact dismissed the possibility. Contact your Access Group to discuss the problem. The Access Group can support you to write a letter to the owner explaining the problem and offering a solution.

· Step Three - if the letter brings a positive response, fine. Pin them down to a timescale - when will they be sorting out the problem?

If there is a negative response, it's time to start thinking of legal action. Before you do, write again pointing out that you are considering taking this step. If there is a positive reaction to this, once again get them to commit to a timescale. If not, Step Four.

· Step Four - contact the EASS [details below] to check on whether they agree with you that this is a case of discrimination. The Equality & Human Rights Commission may be interested in taking on the case themselves if it will set a useful precedent in law. If not, it is a case of employing a solicitor to take your case on. The initial letter from the solicitor to the owner of the premises may well be sufficient. No-one likes being taken to court with all the costs and bad publicity generated. If this doesn't work then move on to the fifth and final step.

· Step Five - the case is taken to the County Court. If/when you win, the owner of the premises has to sort out the problem; a precedent is established in law affecting other similar premises; you receive a payment in damages (there is no upward limit on the amount of damages payable in a Equality Act case). Don't be tempted to settle out of court. All that will do is give you some money but the problem of a lack of access won't go away.

If you lose, consider taking it to appeal. Again consult the EASS for their opinion and possible support.

Good luck!


A GUIDE TO COMBATING DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION



Contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service

The contact details for the service are:

Phone: 0808 800 0082

Textphone: 0808 800 0084

Website: http://www.equalityadvisoryservice.com/

Post: FREEPOST Equality Advisory Support Service FPN4431

Opening hours:

09:00 to 20:00 Monday to Friday     10:00 to 14:00 Saturday

closed on Sundays and Bank Holidays


Making the Equality Act work :