Disability Equality

A person has a disability if she or he has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on that person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

This section establishes who is to be considered as having the protected characteristic of disability and is a disabled person for the purposes of the Act.

Where people have the same disability, they share the protected characteristic of disability.


• A man works in a warehouse, loading and unloading heavy stock.  He develops a long-term heart condition and no longer has the ability to lift or move heavy items of stock at work.  Lifting and moving such heavy items is not a normal day-to-day activity.  However, he is also unable to lift, carry or move moderately heavy everyday objects such as chairs, at work or around the home.  This is an adverse effect on a normal day-to-day activity.  He is likely to be considered a disabled person for the purposes of the Act.

•A young woman has developed colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease.  The condition is a chronic one which is subject to periods of remissions and flare-ups.  During a flare-up she experiences severe abdominal pain and bouts of diarrhoea.  This makes it very difficult for her to travel or go to work.  This has a substantial adverse effect on her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.  She is likely to be considered a disabled person for the purposes of the Act.

To tell us what you think about Disability Equality in Northumberland please contact us.

Useful Documents

Cause and Cure: Deafblind People’s experience of the NHS (full text)
Cause and Cure: Deafblind People’s Experience of the NHS (summary)

Cause and Cure: Deafblind People’s Experience of the NHS: Recommendations Guidance

Office for Disability Issues: Equality Act 2012 Guidance (Guidance on matters to be taken into account in determining questions relating to the definition of disability)

HIRE Vision (How HR professionals and employees can become RNIB adjusters)

Useful links

BlindVoice UK – Lobbies for equality of access for blind and visually impaired people in the area.

British Heart Foundation – Gives a range of information about heart disease and advice on keeping a healthy heart.

Equality and Human Rights Commission – The Equality and Human Rights Commission champions equality and human rights for all, working to eliminate discrimination, reduce inequality, protect human rights and to build good relations, ensuring that everyone has a fair chance to participate in society.

Equality North East – Provides an information service giving advice and guidance on equal opportunity employment issues.

Macmillan Cancer Support – Improves the lives of cancer sufferers by giving practical, medical, emotional and financial help.

Carers Northumberland – Dedicated to improving the lives of carers by responding to the needs of carers, informing carers of their rights and entitlements, supporting carers to access help for the person they care for, reducing the social isolation that so many carers feel and empowering carers to have a voice.

Mencap – Promotes equal rights for people with learning disabilities offering a variety of services.

Office for Disability – The Government Office for Disability Issues.

Royal National Institute of Blind People  (RNIB) – A charity offering information, support and advice to people with sight problems.

Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) – Provides information for Deaf and hard of hearing people.

The National Aids Trust – Provides information about AIDS and awareness and improving quality of life for people affected by it.

Work Smart – The TUC site giving information about your rights at work.

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