What is a disability?

by Rania J | March 1, 2012 1:55 am

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Is the disability covered by the law? The Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth)(DDA) and Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW) (ADA) use different definitions of disability.

Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth)
a. total or partial loss of the person’s bodily or mental functions, or
b. total or partial loss of a part of the body, or
c. the presence in the body of organisms causing disease or illness, or
d. the presence in the body of organisms capable of causing disease or illness, or
e. the malfunction, malformation or disfigurement of a part of the person’s body, or
f. a disorder or malfunction that results in the person learning differently from a person without the disorder or malfunction, or
g. a disorder, illness or disease that affects a person’s thought processes, perception of reality, emotions or judgment, or that results in disturbed behaviour, and includes a disability that:

  1. presently exists, or
  2. previously existed but no longer exists, or
  3. may exist in the future, or
  4. is imputed to a person.

Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW)
a. total or partial loss of a person’s bodily or mental functions or of a part of a person’s body, or
b. the presence in a persons body of organisms causing or capable of causing disease or illness, or
c. the malfunction, malformation or disfigurement of a part of a person’s body, or
d. a disorder or malfunction that results in a person learning differently from a person without the disorder or malfunction, or
e. a disorder, illness or disease that affects a person’s thought processes, perception of reality, emotions or judgment or that results in disturbed behaviour.

It’s not always necessary to have a disability when discrimination happens. The DDA and ADA also cover:

Future disability: A condition which runs in the family which you may develop in the future.

Imputed disability: something someone believes another person has, whether or not they do. For example, someone may believe a gay man has HIV/AIDS.

Temporary disability: A disability that exists for a short period of time and isn’t permanent. Temporary disability may also be treated as a past disability if adverse treatment continues after the disability ceases.

Associates: If someone associated with a person with a disability is treated differently because of their association, the treatment of the ‘associate’ may be unlawful.

Endnotes:
  1. [Image]: http://wr.readspeaker.com/webreader/webreader.php?cid=JWNT7W1TR6AYV6W8S715YFSTZ2LI7KHH&t=wordpress&url=http://disabilitylaw.org.au/disability-discrimination/what-is-a-disability&title=Whatisadisability?

Source URL: http://disabilitylaw.org.au/disability-discrimination/what-is-a-disability