The social model of disability
We are committed to working within the social model of disability. This model values what disabled people can achieve and it does not judge people by their disability. Instead, it views society as placing barriers in front of disabled people, preventing them from realising their full potential. The opposite of the social model is known as the medical model, which focuses on people’s disabilities, impairments and any ill-health they may experience.
We are working hard to improve access to our services, to include disabled people and their families in decision-making, and to improve job opportunities for disabled people, including our own existing employees. This also means challenging stereotypes about disabled people, tackling harassment and hate crime towards disabled people and carers, and making reasonable adjustments in service delivery and employment. We want to make sure that disabled people in Derbyshire enjoy the same opportunities as people who are not disabled.
Reasonable adjustments in service delivery and employment - how we’re improving access and opportunities for disabled people
One of the ways in which we are improving opportunities for disabled people is by making changes in how we communicate with residents and people using our services, when delivering local services, for people seeking work and to support disabled people already working for us.
- providing information in different accessible ways and in British Sign Language
- improving access and facilities for disabled people and others in the buildings we use to deliver our services and helping to provide Changing Places toilet facilities across Derbyshire
- carrying out adjustments so existing disabled employees can carry out their jobs and feel supported at work
- we are signed up to the Positive About Disabled People scheme (often referred to as the Two Ticks Scheme) which supports disabled people in recruitment
- providing support and services to the many thousands of carers across Derbyshire
- Setting up disabled parent forums to give the families of disabled children a bigger say on the services they receive and education for disabled children
- supporting national campaigns such as the Time to Change campaign to challenge the stigma around mental illness
- supporting disabled employees to meet and to influence our employment policies and practice – through an active disabled workers group
- providing advice and support to disabled people in relation to employment and welfare and other benefits, including through our Disability Employment Project which helps people into work.
Equality Act 2010 replaced earlier Disability Discriminations Acts
In 2010 the Disability Discrimination Acts of 1995 and 2005 were updated by the Equality Act 2010. This new Act extended the public sector duty to advance equality to all nine protected characteristics including disability. The public sector duty to promote equality covers all nine protected equality groups rather than previously when it only covered race, gender and disability equality.
The Equality Act 2010 has made a number of changes which help boost protection under the law for disabled people, including:
- banning of pre-employment disability and health checks in recruitment
- adding a new form of discrimination – discrimination arising out of a person’s disability and extending direct discrimination by perception and association – which helps protect carers
- by making it unlawful for an employer or service provider to fail to make reasonable adjustments – which now becomes a form of prohibited conduct
- extending protection in relation to mental illness – so that people with a history of mental illness are now protected during times when they are not experiencing ill-health.
We have published a range of information to explain what we are doing to meet the public sector duty, including in relation to disabled people, their families, and carers.
Accessible Derbyshire is a website with lots of information about places, events and services which are accessible to disabled people across Derbyshire and the Peak District.
If you know of others please help by contacting Accessible Derbyshire and share the information with them, to help make Derbyshire an accessible place for everyone.