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Rights Ed Resource sheet: What is discrimination?

What is discrimination?

Discrimination is when you are treated unfairly or differently from others because of a particular personal characteristic. People may experience discrimination in many areas of their daily life.

You may face discrimination...

at school, TAFE or University in the place where you work or when you are applying for jobs when renting or trying to rent accommodation when accessing premises e.g. libraries, places of worship, government offices, hospitals, restaurants,
When you participate in sport or clubs when you go shopping or when you use services such as banks or clubs when you use government services such as hospitals or transport on the internet when people write offensive comments or show offensive videos, or when you cannot get information because it is in a format that is inaccessible to you

What are some of the different types of discrimination?

Some types of discrimination are against the law. You can make a complaint to the Australian Human Rights Commission if you experience these types of discrimination.

The following types of discrimination are against the law:

Type of discrimination Example
If you are treated unfairly because you have disabilities (disability discrimination) you may be treated unfairly because you use a wheelchair, because you are deaf or because you have a mental health condition
If you are treated unfairly because of your race (racism) you may be treated unfairly because of your skin colour or because of your race
If you are treated unfairly because of your sex(sexism) you may be treated unfairly because you are a woman, because you are pregnant or because of your family responsibilities. This includes sexual harrassment. Sexual harassment is any unwanted sexual behaviour such as unwelcome touching or sexually explicit comments
If you are treated unfairly because of your age (ageism) you may be treated unfairly because you are younger or older
If you are treated unfairly in your job or when you are trying to get a job you may be treated unfairly because you have a criminal record or because of your trade union activity, your sexual preference or your religion

 


Rights Ed Resource Sheet: Disability rights and sports

All people have the right to participate in recreation, leisure and sporting activities.

Australia also has a law called the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) that protects individuals across Australia from unfair treatment in many parts of public life including in sport. The DDA makes disability discrimination unlawful and promotes equal rights, equal opportunity and equal access for people with disabilities.

Australia has also signed an important international treaty called the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities' or the Disability Convention for short.

The Disability Convention identifies how to take action to enable people with disabilities to participate on an equal basis with others in recreational, leisure and sporting activities:

  1. To encourage and promote the participation, to the fullest extent possible, of people with disabilities in mainstream sporting activities at all levels

  2. To ensure that people with disabilities have an opportunity to organise, develop and participate in disability-specific sporting and recreational activities and, to this end, encourage the provision, on an equal basis with others, of appropriate instruction, training and resources

  3. To ensure that people with disabilities have access to sporting, recreational and tourism venues

  4. To ensure that children with disabilities have equal access with other children to participation in play, recreation and leisure and sporting activities, including those activities in the school system

  5. To ensure that people with disabilities have access to services from those involved in the organisation of recreational, tourism, leisure and sporting activities.

Rights Ed Literacy Activity Sheet: Disability rights and sports

Instructions: Read the following text and answer the margin questions.

 

Person swimming with amputated leg

All people have the right to participate in recreation, leisure and sporting activities.

What is the difference between recreation and leisure?

Australia also has a law called the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) that protects individuals across Australia from unfair treatment in many parts of public life including in sport. The DDA makes disability discrimination unlawful and promotes equal rights, equal opportunity and equal access for people with disabilities.

 

Australia has also signed an important international treaty called the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities or the Disability Convention for short.

What is a treaty?

 

The Disability Convention identifies how to take action to enable people with disabilities to participate on an equal basis with others in recreational, leisure and sporting activities:

What does ‘take action’ mean?

 

a. To encourage and promote the participation, to the fullest extent possible, of people with disabilities in mainstream sporting activities at all levels;

What does mainstream sport mean?

 

b. To ensure that people with disabilities have an opportunity to organise, develop and participate in disability-specific sporting and recreational activities and, to this end, encourage the provision, on an equal basis with others, of appropriate instruction, training and resources;

What is a disability-specific sport?

 

What does provision mean?

 

c. To ensure that people with disabilities have access to sporting, recreational and tourism venues;

 

d. To ensure that children with disabilities have equal access with other children to participation in play, recreation and leisure and sporting activities, including those activities in the school system;

What does ‘equal access’ mean?

 

e. To ensure that people with disabilities have access to services from those involved in the organisation of recreational, tourism, leisure and sporting activities

 

 


Rights Ed Activity Sheet: Let me win

Watch the video Let Me Win http://youtu.be/8s2VhvivNpQ

 

 

# Questions Comments
1 What helps Sekou feel fully included in his school?

 

 

2 What is stopping Sekou from achieving his best in sprinting?

 

 

 

3 What would help Sekou have an equal chance of winning?

 

 

4 How was Sekou being discriminated against? What impact did it have on him?

 

 

 

5 What comments can be made about Sekou’s ‘identity’? How do you think he sees himself? Do you think he identifies as ‘deaf’?

 

 

 

6 How did Sekou’s family, friends and community (especially school) support him?

 

 

 

7 Who did Sekou make a complaint to?

 

 

8 What was the outcome of Sekou’s complaint?

 

 

 

9 How did Sekou’s official complaint benefit other athletes who cannot hear the starter pistol?

 

 

 

 


Rights Ed Resource Sheet: Disability discrimination and making a complaint to the Australian Human Rights Commission

Disability Discrimination is discrimination against someone because of their disabilities. In Australia, there is a law called the Disability Discrimination Act (or DDA for short) that protects people from this type of discrimination.

What you can do if you experience disability discrimination?

Scarlett Finney

Image Caption: As a little girl, Scarlett Finney, now 20, wanted to go to the school of her choice. The school she chose, however, did not want to make the changes necessary in order for the school to be accessible to Scarlett, who has spina bifida. The school refused to accept her. Scarlett and her family made a complaint the Australian Human Rights Commission which eventually went all the way to the Federal Court. They not only won, but it set a precedent for other students with disabilities.

 

If you think you have been discriminated against, you can talk to:
a friend or a family member about what happened the person or organisation causing the problem
an organisation such as a disability rights or Aboriginal organisation that may be able to help the Australian Human Rights Commission and make a complaint

What can the Australian Human Rights Commission do about your discrimination complaint?

The Australian Human Rights Commission investigates the issue and tries to resolve it by conciliation. This can involve:

  1. talking with you about whether what happened to you may be covered by the law

  2. explaining how you can make a complaint about what happened

  3. explaining how we will deal with your complaint and what might happen as a result of your complaint

  4. giving you information about other people that may be able to help you if we can’t

  5. help find a solution to the complaint; this process of conciliation enables you and the respondent (the person or organisation the complaint is against) to talk about the issues and try to find a way to resolve the complaint

  6. if the conciliation process is unsuccessful or the complaint is discontinued for some reason, you may be able to take your complaint to court

 

(a) Other important complaints information

  • It's OK to stop your complaint at any time.

  • If we can’t deal with your complaint, we will tell you why.

  • It doesn’t cost anything to make a complaint.

  • You don’t need to have a lawyer to make a complaint.

(b) How do you contact the Australian Human Rights Commission?

Website: www.humanrights.gov.au
Complaints Infoline: 1300 656 419 (cost of a local call)
TTY: 1800 620 241
Email: infoservice@humanrights.gov.au


Rights Ed Activity Sheet: Disability discrimination in sport – case studies

Complainant (the person making a complaint) Respondent (person or organisation who the complaint is about) Outcome
The complainant, who uses a wheelchair, claimed that he was refused entry to participate in a racing event organised by the respondent because he uses a wheelchair. He claimed the respondent advised him that he was unlikely to meet the cut off time required to finish the race because he would be using a wheelchair. The respondent stated that they held concerns about participants who use wheelchairs being able to safely navigate the narrow sections of the race route. The respondent indicated willingness to attempt to resolve the complaint by conciliation. The complaint was resolved. The respondent advised that they would allow participants using wheelchairs to enter the race event in the future. They also announced a change to the route of the race to accommodate participants using wheelchairs. The respondent also provided a written apology to the complainant, and offered him complimentary entry to one of their racing events
A mother complained on behalf of her son with cerebral palsy. He is a keen soccer fan and has had his wheelchair modified to enable him to play soccer at school. The respondent runs soccer skills programmes for young children but refused an application from the boy, on the basis that his disability would prevent him from participating. At a conciliation conference the respondent apologised to the child, agreed to enrol him in one of its soccer programmes for a year free of charge, and to modify their enrolment practices. (2001)
A mother complained that her son, who uses a wheelchair, had been excluded from access to a karate school because of insurance concerns. At a conciliation conference the respondent indicated that the concern was not about the boy's participation in karate activities but rather about lack of safe means of wheelchair access to the 2nd floor premises where the karate school was conducted. The matter was resolved when participation at an accessible venue was arranged. (2006)

 


Rights Ed Activity Sheet: Making a complaint to the Australian Human Rights Commission

Part A – About you, the complainant (the person who is complaining)

Name:

Part B – Who is the complaint about?

Name of person or organisation that the complaint is about (respondent):

 

Part C – What are you complaining about?

(a) I am complaining because I believe: (Please select at least one reason below)

I have been discriminated against because of my sex.

This includes sex, pregnancy, marital or relationship status, family responsibilities, breastfeeding, sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status.

I have been sexually harassed

I have been discriminated against because of my race.

This includes race, colour, national origin, descent, ethnicity and immigrant status.

I have experienced racial hatred.

I have been discriminated against because of my disabilities.

This includes disabilities, association with a person with disabilities, being a carer or an assistant of a person with disabilities, use of an assistance animal, harassment because of a disability and contravention of a disability standard.

I have been discriminated against because of my age.

I have been discriminated against in my employment because of one, or more, of the following reasons:

trade union activity

criminal record

religion

political opinion

Social origin

My human rights have been breached by a Commonwealth Government body.

I have been treated unfairly because of another reason, including victimisation.

There are limits on the types of complaints the Commission can consider. The Commission can only consider complaints about unfair treatment related to the reasons listed above.

If another reason is selected, please state the reason:

 

(b) When did the alleged event(s) happen?

 

(c) Describe the events that you want to complain about

(i) What happened?

 

(ii) Where did the event(s) happen?

 

(iii) Who was involved?

 

(d) What documents or information can you provide to support your complaint? Examples of documents include letters, payslips, doctor’s certificates or references.

 


Rights Ed Activity Sheet: Newspaper article template

Headline:

[Use alliteration, puns or other literary techniques to make headline catchy]

 

 

By-line:

(Who is the article written by?):

 

 

Introduction:

Tells readers what the article is about – who is the article about? What is the article about? When did it happen? Where did it happen?

 

Photograph:

Include a photograph that is relevant to the article

 

 

Caption:

Write a short sentence to explain what is happening in the photograph.

 

Quotes:

What are some relevant eye-witness or expert statements that could be included in the article?

 

Body:

Give more detail about the issue e.g. how did the event happen? Why is this issue/event important?

 

Conclusion:

Provide summary of the article and tell readers what will happen next.