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  • FIRST POST
    mcspanna
    What counts as disability?
    • #1
    • 19th Oct 08, 1:22 AM
    What counts as disability? 19th Oct 08 at 1:22 AM
    Hope no one minds but it struck me that we needed this thread. Since 1995 when the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) came into being, whether or not someone 'counts' as being a disabled person tends to be decided by the legal definition of disability in the DDA, the following information is cut and pasted from here, I've highlighted the important bits (IMHO) in red.

    Definition of 'disability' under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA)

    The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) defines a disabled person as someone who has a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

    The definition

    For the purposes of the Act:
    • substantial means neither minor nor trivial
    • long term means that the effect of the impairment has lasted or is likely to last for at least 12 months (there are special rules covering recurring or fluctuating conditions)
    • normal day-to-day activities include everyday things like eating, washing, walking and going shopping
    • a normal day-to-day activity must affect one of the 'capacities' listed in the Act which include mobility, manual dexterity, speech, hearing, seeing and memory
    Some conditions, such as a tendency to set fires and hay fever, are specifically excluded.

    People who have had a disability in the past that meets this definition are also covered by the scope of the Act. There are additional provisions relating to people with progressive conditions.

    The DDA 2005 amended the definition of disability. It ensured that people with HIV, cancer and multiple sclerosis are deemed to be covered by the DDA effectively from the point of diagnosis, rather than from the point when the condition has some adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
    Last edited by mcspanna; 19-10-2008 at 10:10 AM. Reason: sort out hyperlink and highlighting
Page 1
    • soolin
    • By soolin 19th Oct 08, 9:28 AM
    • 62,925 Posts
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    soolin
    • #2
    • 19th Oct 08, 9:28 AM
    • #2
    • 19th Oct 08, 9:28 AM
    I've made thispost a sticky pending moderator approval.

    I would just add that even if your condition is treated as a disability you need not declare yourself as a person with a disability if you do not wish to. I know this is an odd thing to say but many people with disabilities prefer to manage without their employers or officialdom labelling them as such and no one can force you to declare it until you feel ready.

    I had a case some years back where an employer was actively encouraging employees with obvious disabilities to declare themselves formally so that the employment history looked good and the employer could show he had a large percentage of people with disabilities. This was against employment rules and even if you have somehting obvious, you do not need to claim anything state benefit wise nor inform your employer unless the condition means you need additional support, or at such time you feel that state benefits would make your life easier.

    A person with a disability is still a person with rights and that includes being in control of your own person. Let no one tell you that you 'must' do something or that you must fill out forms or tick boxes with your employer until you feel ready. I have always been concerned that officialdom sees the disability and forgets that the person living with that disability has rights.
    Last edited by soolin; 19-10-2008 at 9:32 AM. Reason: typos
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  • dodgee
    • #3
    • 22nd Oct 08, 10:10 AM
    • #3
    • 22nd Oct 08, 10:10 AM
    thankyou
  • mcspanna
    • #4
    • 22nd Oct 08, 7:05 PM
    • #4
    • 22nd Oct 08, 7:05 PM
    Hi soolin/dodgee,

    Thanks soolin for making this a sticky (pending approval!). Deciding whether to 'disclose' is a very personal decision. I have a visible condition which I always disclose formally because it generally makes life easier, however I have other conditions which I have either not disclosed at all or only disclosed to selected people.

    I feel it's important to point out that even if you choose to disclose, you can state that this information should be kept confidential. For example you could tell your line manager but insist that they don't tell your colleagues. The only way that I'm aware that this confidentiality can ever be broken is under data protection if you are a danger to your self or others.

    Organisations have an anticipatory duty to consider the needs of disabled people as far as reasonably possible (i.e. providing general wheelchair access) but if you need any adjustments personal to you, this can generally only be done if you disclose and can be difficult if you don't give permission for your information to be shared with others (for example asking to use the senior managment parking area because it's closer to the building when you're a lowly clerical worker...it would probably raise a few eyebrows!).

    From my point of view, I have always found that a good knowledge of my legal rights has often given me the confidence to disclose but I appreciate that depending on your circumstances (e.g. an evil boss) it's not an easy decision.
  • Shomac
    • #5
    • 22nd Oct 08, 10:24 PM
    • #5
    • 22nd Oct 08, 10:24 PM
    Due to a work related accident in 2000, i am now disabled & its amazing the amount of people who seem surprised when im parked in a disabled parking bay.

    Just because i dont look disabled, doesnt mean im faking it.

    Thanks to the forums on the web, i have gained a lot of useful information.
    • Miroslav
    • By Miroslav 22nd Oct 08, 10:29 PM
    • 6,124 Posts
    • 13,379 Thanks
    Miroslav
    • #6
    • 22nd Oct 08, 10:29 PM
    • #6
    • 22nd Oct 08, 10:29 PM
    Just because i dont look disabled, doesnt mean im faking it.
    Originally posted by Shomac
    Alot of us have the same problem.

    I'm the perfect case of 'looks can be deceiving'. I'm tall, wide and appear 'normal' whatever normal is, so when people find out I have a 'disability', they don't believe me. :rolleyes:

    I hope to gain lots from this section on the board, even if it's just good information.
    • MSE Martin
    • By MSE Martin 22nd Oct 08, 10:55 PM
    • 8,116 Posts
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    MSE Martin
    • #7
    • 22nd Oct 08, 10:55 PM
    • #7
    • 22nd Oct 08, 10:55 PM
    Just to say that for this site - a person with disability is self defining, if you think you are you are. The only time this won't apply is if someone is using it to disrupt the use of others in the forum.

    Martin
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
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  • alamode
    • #8
    • 23rd Oct 08, 12:11 AM
    • #8
    • 23rd Oct 08, 12:11 AM
    Alot of us have the same problem.

    I'm the perfect case of 'looks can be deceiving'. I'm tall, wide and appear 'normal' whatever normal is, so when people find out I have a 'disability', they don't believe me. :rolleyes:

    I hope to gain lots from this section on the board, even if it's just good information.
    Originally posted by Miroslav
    Too true I have been disabled since 1991 and you can guarantee I get asked at least once a day what is wrong with me as I don't look disabled
    Richard Walker Event Photographer Paying of my debts bit by bit Thanks to the Money Saving Expert forum
    • Horace
    • By Horace 23rd Oct 08, 12:15 AM
    • 14,111 Posts
    • 24,783 Thanks
    Horace
    • #9
    • 23rd Oct 08, 12:15 AM
    • #9
    • 23rd Oct 08, 12:15 AM
    I know the feeling, I get asked what my disability is all the time (I am blind in one eye before anyone asks).

    I have a mate who is an amputee and he once parked his motorbike in a disabled bay (he was displaying a badge) and a jobsworth parking attendant was waiting for him when he got back because he was slapping a ticket on the bike for being illegally parked. The attendant didnt believe that my mate was disabled so my mate unstrapped his leg and handed it to him The attendant was left red faced.
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  • foxxymynx
    I have a mate who is an amputee and he once parked his motorbike in a disabled bay (he was displaying a badge) and a jobsworth parking attendant was waiting for him when he got back because he was slapping a ticket on the bike for being illegally parked. The attendant didnt believe that my mate was disabled so my mate unstrapped his leg and handed it to him The attendant was left red faced.
    Originally posted by Horace
    I would have loved to have seen that!
    If my typing is pants or I seem partcuarly blunt, please excuse me, it physically hurts to type. If I seem a bit random and don't make a lot of sense, it may have something to do with the voice recognition software that I'm using!
    • descartesmum
    • By descartesmum 23rd Oct 08, 8:33 AM
    • 237 Posts
    • 95 Thanks
    descartesmum
    Me too.

    I fought being disabled. I was told in 1990 to give up work due to arthritis and cervical spondaloysis but I ignored the consultant and carried on working until 1994 when I just couldn't do my job, which was heart breaking because I loved working with children in a 'special' school.
    • andrew71
    • By andrew71 23rd Oct 08, 3:21 PM
    • 1,153 Posts
    • 7,602 Thanks
    andrew71
    Thanks for this part of the forum. I too am one of those who "do not look disabled"
    I have ME and difficutly with my walking. A few weeks ago I parked up in a disabled spot with my blue badge and when I got out an eldery couple informed me that the space was for disabled people. When I informed them I was the gentleman bold as brass said to me "you don't look old enough to be disabled" :confused: Never knew there was an age limit on being disabled
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  • mcspanna
    It even happens to people with a visible disability! I pulled into an accessible parking space yesterday and was being thrown evils by an elderly couple in the next space - this quickly turned to looking the other way when I got my wheelchair out of the car!

    Thanks Martin for the self-definition clarification. I'm a strong believer in self-definition but originally posted this thread because there seemed to be a lot of people who aren't sure if they qualify and I wanted to demonstrate that they do (legally). Very roughly there are about 20% of people in the UK who would come under the DDA definition, but a staggering 50% of these people don't realise that they do and are therefore missing out on all sorts of things...unfortunately I guess a lot of this is because people don't 'look' disabled!
    • LameWolf
    • By LameWolf 23rd Oct 08, 6:24 PM
    • 10,969 Posts
    • 120,539 Thanks
    LameWolf
    When I informed them I was the gentleman bold as brass said to me "you don't look old enough to be disabled" :confused: Never knew there was an age limit on being disabled
    Originally posted by andrew71
    Yes, I've had that. I use a wheelchair most of the time if I'm out, or if it's just a few yards and I'm having a good day, I use two sticks.
    But we parked up in a disabled slot a while back, and despite having my Blue Badge on the dash, a busybody rapped on the window and gave me an earful. Just because I have long red hair, I think......:confused: I assume she thought I was using a badge belonging to an older relative or something.:confused:
    LameWolf
    If your dog thinks you're the best, don't seek a second opinion.
    • JayWalker
    • By JayWalker 25th Oct 08, 8:09 AM
    • 106 Posts
    • 118 Thanks
    JayWalker
    I parked up in a disabled spot with my blue badge and when I got out an eldery couple informed me that the space was for disabled people. When I informed them I was the gentleman bold as brass said to me "you don't look old enough to be disabled" :confused: Never knew there was an age limit on being disabled
    Originally posted by andrew71
    I've evn been told that I'm "not old enough to be disabled" by a woman who had parked in the disabled space because her child was in a wheelchair. Does this mean I'm too young AND too old?
  • lynneb311
    The same thing has happened to me, I know how irritating it can be if someone without a disability uses a designated disabled parking space, but I think vigilantes should be careful how they approach people they suspect of using a space inappropriately.

    I suffer from chronic refractory angina, and am unable to walk very far because of it. I was verbally attacked by an elderly gentleman when my daughter parked her car with me in it, in a disabled spot. He stood there with his hands on his hips and glared at her. I put the blue badge out on display and then with difficulty got out the car using my walking stick to help. He then launched into a very nasty verbal attack and accused me of faking my disability. He told me that I was too young, and despite the stick and the blue badge, accused me of taking advantage. At the same time his daughter got out of his car, again using a walking stick. I pointed out to him that she looked no more disabled than I, and that you can't always tell.

    This man, was having none of it, and was extremely aggressive and threatening, both my daughter and I were intimidated by him, and eventually I told him to just go away and leave us alone. I was really upset by the whole thing, was literally shaking and of course started with angina, so had to cut the shopping visit short.

    He only left us alone after about ten minutes of shouting at us, because his daughter intervened and told him he was behaving badly. She apologised to us, but he refused to.

    I had a heart attack 5 years ago, and have had freqent hospital admissions with severe angina, I consider myself lucky the angina I had following this event didn't result in another hospital admission or worse.

    I know its silly to let something like that upset me as much as it did, but even now a year or two later I still look out when I am parking, just in case there is someone who is going to have a go at me.

    Lynneb311
  • wildflower
    The same thing has happened to me, I know how irritating it can be if someone without a disability uses a designated disabled parking space, but I think vigilantes should be careful how they approach people they suspect of using a space inappropriately.

    I suffer from chronic refractory angina, and am unable to walk very far because of it. I was verbally attacked by an elderly gentleman when my daughter parked her car with me in it, in a disabled spot. He stood there with his hands on his hips and glared at her. I put the blue badge out on display and then with difficulty got out the car using my walking stick to help. He then launched into a very nasty verbal attack and accused me of faking my disability. He told me that I was too young, and despite the stick and the blue badge, accused me of taking advantage. At the same time his daughter got out of his car, again using a walking stick. I pointed out to him that she looked no more disabled than I, and that you can't always tell.

    This man, was having none of it, and was extremely aggressive and threatening, both my daughter and I were intimidated by him, and eventually I told him to just go away and leave us alone. I was really upset by the whole thing, was literally shaking and of course started with angina, so had to cut the shopping visit short.

    He only left us alone after about ten minutes of shouting at us, because his daughter intervened and told him he was behaving badly. She apologised to us, but he refused to.

    I had a heart attack 5 years ago, and have had freqent hospital admissions with severe angina, I consider myself lucky the angina I had following this event didn't result in another hospital admission or worse.

    I know its silly to let something like that upset me as much as it did, but even now a year or two later I still look out when I am parking, just in case there is someone who is going to have a go at me.

    Lynneb311
    Originally posted by lynneb311
    I have PTSD (post trauma stress). Shaking is a really healthy response to someone else's (thinking or unthinking) awfulness. Please accept your shaking as a healthy response as that will reduce your stress levels (worrying about shaking sends them up) and cool the angina. I lived for nearly 45 years with shaking scaring me until I paid for some very specific and very expensive trauma therapy. I have shaken so much and tried to hide it that my joints are worn and arthritis is crippling, to use the old term for impaired. I'm only 51.
    • lynsey78
    • By lynsey78 28th Oct 08, 4:31 PM
    • 217 Posts
    • 1,624 Thanks
    lynsey78
    Epilepsy
    Some people fail to recognise epilepsy, people who have epilepsy that is not totally controlled and have fits still are not able to drive, a big disability in itself. Obviously the council now supply bus passes and you can purchase a rail card, but no benefits are there. Some people including myself have problems working full time as it is tiredness and stress that affects people/
  • Swirley
    Hi. I'm new so if this is in the wrong place, I humbly apologise!!
    I too am disabled. I already had spinal problems, but when I was 18 I had an accident that completly messed my back up. When using the disabled bays at Asda etc, old people would glare at me, like I had no right to be there. I even had an old lady come up to my face screaming that the bays were for disabled people. I showed her my orange badge (as it was at the time), then got on my crutches to limp away. She did no more than demand the store manager make me move my car! Luckily the manager saw my side an explained that young people can be disabled too, and I had every right to use the facilites. Victory for young disabled people. Thank for a great thread. Jo.
    When life gives you lemons make lemonade. When life gives you chocolate......eat it!
  • loopymadlover
    my mother is registered disabled she is registered blind and has a disabled badge as long as i can remember she has been treated differently to other people one example is if she uses her stick (which she no longer does as someone stole her purse while she was shopping) shop assistants always press the change into her hand hard so she knows what she has got she also get stared at but nosy ppl who dont know any different she now uses a badge as a friend takes her to town and gets funny looks !

    just because she can walk and talk and lives alone doesnt make her less disabled just independant ! people in the street still talk to her sometimes she hasnt got a clue who they are if they dont say there name

    sorry to waffle i just wanted to put my 2peneth in ! it still shocks me that people are treated differntly

    there are still people out there who claim to be disabled and really are not !! hopefully the state will keep outing these people and take the goverments money back ! i am in no way detracting from everyone out there that does suffer disabilities it just makes me mad to the cheek of some "humans" who choose to deface out goverment
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