DRF News, Events and Conferences

Disability-research events in December

Just a little reminder that, weather permitting, the next DRF seminar will be held on Tuesday 14th December 2010 (12pm-2pm) in Room 10111 (First Floor) Arundel Building, Charles Street, City Campus, Sheffield Hallam University, S1 1WB.


  • Becoming, Developing, Actualisation: Words from the heart of revolution or nineteenth-century ableism? ~ John Rees (Department of Education, Childhood and Inclusion, Sheffield Hallam University)
  • Exploring the Equality Act 2010 ~ Katherine Runswick-Cole (Department of Education, Childhood and Inclusion, Sheffield Hallam University) 

Coming soon: the *Critical Autism Seminar Day* will be held at Sheffield Hallam University on 18th January 2011 and will be followed by the launch of Dan Goodley’s much anticipated new text, Disability Studies: An Interdisciplinary Introduction.  We invite you to enjoy refreshments with us after the seminar from 4.30-6.00pm. 

Finally, don’t forget to have a look at the ’5 ways to get more involved’ in DRF which can be found here.

DRF News, Policy and Legislation

Bye Bye DDA – the UK gets a new Equality Act

The majority of the provisions under UK’s new Equality Act comes into force today (1st October 2010), with the rest being phased in by 2013. Previous separate legislations- (such as the Sex Discrimination Act (1975), the Race Relations Act (1976), the Disability Discrimination Act (1995) – were considered complex and the slow progress on some issues of inequality and discrimination has been cited as proof that segregated legal frameworks were not working.  Under the new act groups (on the basis of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, sex (meaning gender) and sexual orientation) are provided the same levels of protection from discrimination across all the protected characteristics and all sectors.

Key changes include:

  • Protecting people from discrimination in the recruitment process. The Act makes it unlawful for employers to ask job applicants questions about disability or health before making a job offer, except in specified circumstances.
  • Protecting people discriminated against because they are perceived to have, or are associated with someone who has, a protected characteristic.  The Equality Act will protect people who are, for example, caring for a disabled child or relative. They will be protected by virtue of their association to that person.
  • Extending the equality duty to require the public sector to take into account the needs of all protected groups (except marital and civil partnership status). The new Equality Duty will require public authorities to consider the needs of all the protected groups in, for example, employment and when designing and delivering services.  Although timescales for this Duty are still to be confirmed.
  • Changing the definition of gender reassignment, by removing the requirement for medical supervision.
  • Extending protection in private clubs to sex, religion or belief, pregnancy and maternity, and gender reassignment.

For an Equality Act 2010 Starter Kit visit the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

For a more comprehensive list of changes visit the Government Equalities Office website.