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The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) Australia

The Legislation and Act
Evaluation of Legislation
Links to Other Australian Disability Sites

The Legislation and Act

The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) Australia

The DDA provides for protection from discrimination in these areas:

  • Employment
  • Education
  • Access to premises used by the public.
  • Provision of goods, services and facilities.
  • Accommodation
  • Buying land
  • Activities of clubs and associations.
  • Sport
  • Government laws and programs

Specific standards are in place only for transportation and education.

Complaints made under the DDA are made to the HREOC (Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission), which also handles complaints relating to the racial, sex and age discrimination.

Overall, the DDA has been reasonably effective in reducing discrimination. But its report card is mixed and there is some way to go before its objectives are achieved.

Access to public transport and education has improved more than employment opportunities. People with physical disabilities have been helped more than those with mental illness or intellectual disabilities—but other factors might be relevant. People with disabilities in regional areas, from non-English speaking backgrounds and Indigenous Australians still face particular disadvantages—but race discrimination, language, socioeconomic background and remoteness also play a part.

The DDA meets the Competition Principles Agreement legislation review requirements. Many benefits are intangible but widespread.

Costs of compliance are likely to be quite small for many organizations. In-built safeguards help ensure a net benefit to the Australian community.

No satisfactory alternatives for achieving its objectives exist.

Excerpts from Review of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, Productivity Commission Inquiry Report, April 30, 2004

Evaluation of the Legislation

Inquiry Report released 14 February 2006; see also Executive Summary; Commission media release

Links to Other Australian Disability Sites

Action Plans are made available on the online register so that organisations developing an action plan can benefit from other organisations' work and experience, and so that people with disabilities can see what an organisation has committed itself to achieving, and contribute their views on how action plans and their implementation could be improved.

Seeing is Believing: Changing Attitudes to Disability (2007)

The report provides a review of disability awareness programs in Victoria and ways to progress outcome measurement for attitude change.

The Living History Project (2004)

This research explored changes and themes in the lived experiences of Victorian people with disabilities and their families in the period from the International Year for Disabled Persons (1981) to the present. Of note was the production of an Easy English Summary with pictographs and plain language for people needing more accessible communication. Available in pdf or audio files.