Equity and Diversity

What is disability discrimination?

Under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) discrimination on the basis of disability occurs when a person with disability is:

  • treated less favourably than a person without disability in circumstances that are not materially different (direct discrimination); or
  • made to comply with a general requirement or condition which the person is unable to comply with because of their disability, and which leads to the person being disadvantaged (indirect discrimination).

Disability discrimination includes:

  • imposing unreasonable terms or conditions on an activity
  • denying access to a place, activity or service
  • giving others preferential treatment
  • terminating an activity
  • discriminatory questions
  • harassment.

Carers for those with disability are also protected.

When is discrimination lawful?

Discrimination in employment is unlawful unless:

  • the person cannot perform the inherent requirements of the work, even with reasonable adjustments; or
  • the person needs adjustments/modifications that would be an unjustifiable hardship for the employer.

Discrimination in other areas (including education, access to premises, and the provision of goods, services, accommodation and facilities) is unlawful unless:

  • the person needs adjustments/modifications that would be an unjustifiable hardship for the education/service provider.

Specific exemptions are provided for under Part 2, Division 5 of the Disability Discrimination Act.

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12th October 2011