Recent reports by the Local Government Ombudsman (“LGO”) criticised the London Boroughs of Hillingdon, Lambeth and Wandsworth for each not taking into account the adverse effects of the impairments of individuals in their own area who had a (non-physical) disability.
Click here to read these reports
Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, Michael King, reminded Local Authorities of the statutory requirement to make reasonable adjustments:
“The Equality Act 2010 requires councils to anticipate the needs of people who may need to access their services. This means when councils are alerted to the fact someone might need to be treated in a different way, they should ask that person what adjustments are needed, and consider whether these are reasonable”
In order to be afforded the protections contained in the Equality Act 2010, a person must, in the absence of a deemed disability such as cancer, have a disability which complies with the following definition given in section 6 which may not correspond with an everyday understanding of disability:
A person (P) has a disability if P has a physical or mental impairment, and the impairment has a substantial and long‐term adverse effect on his ability to carry out normal day‐today activities
We will look at this definition in greater detail in future posts but in summary impairment should be given its everyday meaning. There is no need for the person who claims they have a disability to establish a medically diagnosed cause for their impairment. It is the effect of an impairment that must be considered and not its cause
The above is a useful reminder of the support people who have a disability are entitled to receive. It is unfortunate, but in our experience, this support is all too often the exception and not the rule.