Disability rights

Disability rights

We have extensive experience of County Court claims in which we have obtained injunctions and compensation for discrimination against individuals, private companies and public bodies. We also act regularly in judicial review claims in which we use both national and international anti-discrimination law to address discriminatory decisions and policies.

We have brought cases that have transformed the way the Department for Work and Pensions deals with social security applications for deaf children. We have secured compensation and a change in the way housing is provided to disabled people. We have forced shops and transport providers to make their services accessible to wheelchair-users. We have represented disabled people in prison and in immigration detention to ensure their conditions of detention are humane. We have acted for deaf people challenging the failure to make adjustments to ensure they can access essential services. We have helped people with mental health problems and learning disabilities challenge the way their claims for benefits have been dealt with. We have convinced the NHS to introduce a system so that visually-impaired impaired people are provided with accessible information about their healthcare.

We have been successful in using the equality duty to protect services for disabled people all over the country, both services run by disabled people and those that allow them to live independently. We represented the claimants in the cases about the closure of the Independent Living Fund in the High Court and in the Court of Appeal and in a complaint to the UN Committee on Disability. We have helped local DDPOs protect their funding from their local council so that they can run services themselves to support other disabled people.

We have represented the victims of disability hate crimes to challenge failures by the police, prisons and local authorities to protect them. For example we secured damages from G4S for an autistic man raped in prison and from a local authority in relation to a disabled man who died as a result of a hate crime.

We helped to found the Deaf & Disabled People’s Organisations’ Legal Network aimed at bringing DDPOs and lawyers together to increase awareness and understanding of legal issues affecting Deaf and Disabled people. In 2015 DPG’s Louise Whitfield was nominated for a Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year award by Inclusion London for her work representing disabled people.