What is the Equality Act?

You may find that services you use are affected or delivered differently as a result of coronavirus. The Equality Act 2010 remains in force in England, Scotland and Wales and the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 in Northern Ireland. If you have any questions please call the RNIB Helpline on 0303 123 9999, from 8am to 8pm weekdays or 9am to 1pm Saturdays.

The Equality Act 2010 is designed to protect you from unfair treatment and to create a more equal society. The Act brings together a range of anti-discrimination laws that have been passed over the last 40 years to make it easier for you to understand your rights and challenge discrimination.

If you have been certified as severely sight impaired (blind) or sight impaired (partially sighted) by a consultant ophthalmologist, then you are automatically protected under the Equality Act.

If you are not certified then you would need to meet the Act's definition of disabled, a full description can be found on the gov.uk website.

The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA), along with a range of other discrimination laws, was replaced by the Equality Act 2010 on 1 October 2010 in England, Wales and Scotland. The DDA is still in place in Northern Ireland.

Guide Dogs and RNIB have worked together to produce an Equality Act toolkit which includes information about your rights under the Act, as well as details of the most effective way to challenge discrimination where you have been refused access to a service because you have a guide dog.

For more information on the Disability Discrimination Act, see What is the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA)?

The Equality and Human Rights Commission can also provide guidance and give information on the Equality Act 2010 for customers, employees and service providers.

The Government Equalities Office website also has information on the Equality Act 2010.

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