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The Equality Duty: Auxiliary Aids and Services

The duty contains three requirements that apply in situations where a disabled adult or child would otherwise be placed at a substantial disadvantage compared with people who are not disabled 

  • The first requirement involves changing the way things are done (by provision, criterion or practice)

For example – designated car parking spaces are offered not only to senior managers but for employees with mobility problems, or parents of pupils

  • The second requirement involves making changes to overcome barriers created by the physical features of the workplace or learning environment

Clear glass doors at the end of a corridor in particular may present a hazard for a visually impaired adult or child. Adding signs or other indicators to the doors so that they become more visible is likely to be a reasonable adjustment. This second requirement - to make alterations to the existing features of the workplace / school is also considered to be part of the school’s access / planning duties

  • The third requirement involves providing extra equipment (which the equality law calls an auxiliary aid) or getting someone to do something
  • to assist (which the equality law calls an auxiliary service)

A school’s exemption from this third requirement was removed under the Equality Act 2010, effective from: September 2012. This change in the duty followed the recommendation made in Lamb Report (2009) to give parents an additional course of action in disability law against schools.

Local authorities in the past have provided for auxiliary aids and services in pupil’s statements - paid within the SEN regime. Even if local authorities include aids and services in statements, schools may potentially have to provide aids and services from what might arguably be inadequate delegated funds for SEN if parents show it is still reasonable for schools to do this.

For Further Information


Website: www.equalityhumanrights.com


Helpline – England:

email: info@equalityhumanrights.com

0845 604 8810

Textphone: 0845 604 6620

Fax: 0845 604 6630



Page Published: 31/10/2012