There are many Acts which have been passed to enforce, protect and promote the rights of disabled children and ensure they are not discriminated against because of their disability. Below is a summary of some of the key points which remain in place and continue to guide practice today. Knowing your rights according to the law can be a powerful tool to get the support and services your child is entitled to.
We have taken great care to ensure that the information provided is accurate and up to date. However before using an act we would advise checking this using the following link http://www.legislation.gov.uk/
It is also important to bear in mind that case law can influence an act or section within an act. Case law is law that has been established following the decisions made by judges in earlier cases.
The Equality Act 2010 is intended to protect the rights of individuals and advance equality of opportunity for all; to update, simplify and strengthen the previous legislation; and to deliver a simple, modern and accessible framework of discrimination law which protects individuals from unfair treatment and promotes a fair and more equal society.
The provisions in the Equality Act will come into force at different times to allow time for the people and organisations affected by the new laws to prepare for them. The Government is currently considering how the different provisions will be commenced so that the Act is implemented in an effective and proportionate way. In the meantime, the Government Equalities Office continues to work on the basis of the previously announced timetable, which envisaged commencement of the Act’s core provisions in October 2010.
Click here for the Equality Act 2010 guidance.
Under the Carers and Disabled Children Act 2000, carers aged 16 or over who provide a regular and substantial amount of care for someone aged 18 or over have the right to an assessment of their needs as a carer.
If there is more than one carer providing regular care in your household, you are both entitled to an assessment. Very occasionally, a 16 or 17 year old who cares for someone for a limited period may be entitled to an assessment. The local council has a responsibility to make sure a young carer’s own well-being is looked after and that they receive the necessary support.
If you have parental responsibility for a disabled child, your needs as a carer will be assessed as part of a family needs assessment. You have the right to a family needs assessment under The Children Act 1989. You do not need to be the mother or father of the child.
The Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 places a duty upon local authorities to investigate the level of need for services for people with disabilities who live in their area. This includes the assessment and provision of practical assistance in the home, help with adaptations to property, leisure, and assistance with meals and a telephone.
The apparent meaning of this act has been modified by decisions of the courts. Reference should therefore also be made to the relevant case law summaries.
Freedom of Information Act 2000
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 gives you the right to ask any public body for all of the information they have on any subject you choose. Unless there’s a good reason, the organisation must provide the information within a month.
The Freedom of Information Act applies to all ‘public authorities’ including:
- Government Departments and Local Assemblies
Health Trusts, Hospitals and Doctors’ Surgeries
Schools, Colleges and Universities
Publicly funded Museums
Other non-departmental Public Bodies, Committees and Advisory Bodies
Any person can make a request for information under the Act – there are no restrictions on your age, nationality, or where you live.