Disabled access rights

Know your rights

The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) is a legislation to protect people from discrimination and promote their civil rights. Covering areas of everyday life, such as employment, the DDA will support a person with a disability who is discriminated against.

See the Disability Discrimination Act 1995/2005

Be able to access everyday services

The DDA grants a person with a disability the right to access everyday services. Access is not only about a physical means of entry; it is about making services easy to use for everyone.

If you are disabled, you should not be unable to access a service because reasonable adjustments have not been made. Services such as shops, hairdressers, hotels, pubs, post offices, banks, theatres, voluntary groups, and places for legal and religious purposes are considered everyday services.

Most dental practices and healthcare providers now offer provision for disabled access to ensure these rights are respected.

Make the provider aware

If you are unable to adequately access a service you often use, inform the provider about your circumstances and needs. Offer constructive suggestions; you could tell them the Equality and Human Rights Commission can advise service providers of their responsibilities or give your own examples of how other businesses have adjusted, if you know of any.

It is against the law for a service provider to be unfavourable to a person because of their disability. However, service providers will not have to make changes that are impractical or beyond their means. For example, a supermarket’s adjustments will be different to the adjustments appropriate for a corner shop.

Reasonable adjustments for a bank would be constructing a ramp by the steps of the building, setting up an induction loop and providing larger signage.

It is a good idea to get in writing any adjustment the service provider agrees to make as this will assist further intervention, if required.


Unless it can be justified, refusing or failing to supply a service accessible to everyone, except those with a disability, is discrimination.

If no action is undertaken by the service provider, the Equality and Human Rights Commission supports people with disabilities to secure their rights under the DDA.