The Equality Act 2010 (Disability) Regulations 2010, to support the disability discrimination provisions in the Equality Act 2010, came into force on 1 October 2010 replicating and consolidating the numerous regulations previously supporting the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA).
The new Equality Act (Disability) Regulations 2010 replicate and consolidate the previous regulations supporting the DDA, including the Disability Discrimination (Meaning of Disability) Regulations 1996 and the Disability (Blind and Partially Sighted Persons) Regulations 2003.
The major change introduced by the new Regulations, which came into force on 1 October 2010, is the two new categories of persons with a visual impairment deemed to have a disability. To reflect the changes in terminology used by consultant ophthalmologists, Regulation 7 now confirms that individuals who are certified by a consultant ophthalmologist as “severely sight impaired” and “sight impaired”, (as well as those who are “blind” and “partially sighted”), will be deemed to suffer from a disability. According to the Explanatory Notes accompanying the Regulations, the change is intended to make it easier for the sight-impaired to show they are disabled under the Equality Act.
No changes have been made to the list of addictions and other conditions that are not disabilities, i.e. addiction to alcohol, nicotine or other non-medically-prescribed substance; tendency to set fires, steal, physically or sexually abuse others; exhibitionism; voyeurism; hay-fever, tattoos and piercings.
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