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Anti-Discriminatory Practices

Introduction

The underlying cause behind a lack of inclusion in various spectra of the society is often discrimination. In general, it refers to the treatment of a person or a group of people unfairly because of a characteristic or a combination of characteristics that they have. Examples of these traits include: ethnicity, race, age, disability, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, gender and nationality. The immediate effect of such discrimination is that the person is denied opportunities for growth, contribution to, and association with the society or community. In this article, we are going to be examining disability discrimination in particular.

 

Disability Discrimination

People living with a disability can suffer discrimination from people who insult or abuse them; as well as organisations which have policies designed to exclude them. As such, it is important to distinguish between the two types of disability discrimination; namely:

  • Direct Disability Discrimination
  • Indirect Disability Discrimination

 

Direct disability discrimination refers to when a person with disability is treated unfairly or less favourably than a person without disability in the same or similar circumstances. Some examples in this case include:

  • An employer refusing to hire a qualified applicant purely because they use a wheelchair or hearing aid
  • A restaurant refused to grant admission to a person because they are blind

 

Indirect disability discrimination refers to when there is a policy, rule or social convention that has an unfair effect on people with a particular disability. Some examples in this case include:

  • A law that requires voters to appear in person at a polling station – this could disadvantage some people with disability
  • A public building that has been designed to only be accessible by climbing a set of stairs – this puts people who use a wheelchair at a disadvantage

 

Promoting Anti-Discriminatory Practices

Whether you are a participant in the NDIS program or just a person living with disability in Australia, you are protected from disability by the Disability Discrimination Act. The law has been structured to cover those who have had a disability in the past or may develop one in the future as well as those who currently live with a disability. It also protects your carers, friends and relatives.

Speaking of carers, anti-discriminatory practices are required, by law, to be enforced by health and social care workers. The core mission of a care worker is to enable and help you take control of your own life and participate and contribute to the community. As a participant, expect your carer and providers to promote a service user centred care founded on the following principles:

  • Understanding – showing empathy
  • Involvement of your loved ones
  • Provision of all the information you need to make choices
  • Asking what your preferences are
  • Priority – making you the first priority in care provision

These principles will promote respect for your rights as well as empowerment and encouragement as you participate in the community.

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