Around one in five Australians has a disability. Many face significant barriers in work, study, sport, getting around and simply taking part in everyday activities.
The Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) makes disability discrimination unlawful and promotes equal rights, equal opportunity and equal access for people with disabilities.
The Australian Human Rights Commission, through the Disability Discrimination Commissioner, works with governments, the private sector and civil society to help individuals and organisations understand their rights and meet their legal responsibilities.
The Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Dr Ben Gauntlett, conducts research and encourages reform by leading projects which further the rights of people with disability and enable them to enjoy the highest possible quality of life and community participation.
The Commissioner also promotes the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which Australia ratified in 2008.
Complaints under the Disability Discrimination Act
The Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) (the DDA) makes it against the law to treat you unfairly because of your disability. You are also covered if you had a disability in the past, may develop a disability in the future or if people think you have a disability.
If you believe that you have been discriminated against on the basis of your disability, you can make a complaint to the Australian Human Rights Commission. You can also have someone such as a solicitor, advocate or trade union make a complaint on your behalf.
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Exemptions to the Disability Discrimination Act
The Australian Human Rights Commission can grant temporary exemptions from certain provisions of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth). These temporary exemptions are granted under Section 55 and may be granted for up to five years at a time, subject to specific terms and conditions.
More information about exemption applications and decisions is available at Exemption applications under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth).