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The Equality Act 2010: the impact on disabled people

March 30, 2016

Last week the House of Lords Select Committee on the Equality Act 2010 and Disability published its report, citing some of Action for M.E.'s written evidence.

To inform our response to the call for evidence we used a short questionnaire to consult with 194 people affected by M.E. on the effectiveness of the Equality Act 2010 and Disability. In our submission we said that:

  • Many people with M.E. have not noticed any changes in terms of equality for people with disabilities and/or long-term conditions since 2010.
  • People with M.E. feel that M.E. is an invisible illness, which impacts on how it is understood by others, especially in the context of equality and discrimination.
  • The majority of people with M.E. have felt discriminated against when receiving or accessing goods, facilities and services.

Evidence cited in the final report includes a quote from one person with M.E. who felt that negative treatment and public attitudes had been “perpetuated by irresponsible journalism focusing on benefit scroungers rather than genuinely ill people. It is harder to get welfare, harder to travel and a definite increase in hostility and lack of understanding towards people with a disability.”

The report also cites our evidence that many people with M.E. have had problems gaining reasonable adjustments from employers. On the other hand, it also cites our example of the Open University making reasonable adjustments.

Read The Equality Act 2010: the impact on disabled people report on the Parliament website.