Step 6

Step 6: Considering disability throughout implementation

In this step, you will consider how to implement your policy proposal(s) based on an understanding of disabled people’s requirements.

Considering the impacts and barriers

Questions to consider at this step are:

  • What are key inequalities that disabled people face in terms of their resources and access to resources (e.g. work, money, political power, security, education, access to built environment, information and services, time, health and wellbeing, etc.)?
  • What obstacles are there to participation by disabled people? For example, factors relating to location, hours, cost, and family support may deter or prevent disabled people from participating in and/or completing your intervention/service.
  • Is safety an issue? Can disabled people access your intervention/service safely? See the MSD Accessibility Guide for more information .

Keep in mind the impact your proposal may have on the financial support disabled people may be entitled to.

It is also important to consider that work and leadership roles are commonly biased towards non-disabled people, which can have implications for decision-making and access to resources.

Unconscious and conscious bias against disabled people plays out at all levels of society and it is important to be aware of these.

Non-discrimination and equality

Discrimination is often thought of as creating a distinction and treating certain people differently. Under national human rights law, not all distinctions are considered discriminatory. Discriminatory distinctions under human rights law are those that impose burdens, barriers, obligations or disadvantages on individuals who are members of groups protected by the prohibited grounds of discrimination (which include disability).

Where people require different treatment to achieve equity, offering this treatment is a distinction that is considered non-discriminatory as the failure to provide the treatment can impose burdens, barriers, obligations or disadvantages.

This central principle, that treating people equitably does not necessarily mean treating them the same, is particularly relevant to disabled people. This approach can also be phrased as having equitable opportunity to access a service, information or a physical place.

Most non-discrimination provisions are about what not to do, rather than requiring positive action. However, non-discrimination in relation to disability sometimes requires some positive provision. This is acknowledged in the Human Rights Act 1993, through a stipulation that any affirmative or proactive measures needed to ensure equal participation for disabled people, or needed to eliminate systemic discrimination, must be reasonable.

Keeping the community informed 

Sometimes the most effective communication is for government to use key influencers and access their help to get messages out.

Key influencers include:

Consider whether additional implementation actions are needed for different sub-groups of disabled people

Ensure that where appropriate, communications and information are in alternate formats suitable for all. See the Accessibility Charter and the Accessibility Guide .