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Who’s disabled? Disability in the UK

The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) and the subsequent Equality Act 2010 both define a disabled person as someone who ‘has a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities’. ‘Substantial’ is further defined as ‘neither minor nor trivial’; ‘long-term’ as ‘lasting more than a year’; and ‘day-to-day activities’ as things like ‘eating, washing, walking and going shopping’. Faculties likely to be affected are listed as ‘mobility, manual dexterity, speech, hearing, seeing and memory’. Also included are people deemed to be disabled by diagnosis of progressive illness, for example people with HIV, cancer and multiple sclerosis…

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