Welcome to the online home of the Disability Law Service
COVID 19 UPDATE: we are continuing to provide a full service but in line with government advice the team is working from home. Please contact us in the usual way. During these troubling times we are sure that many people will need our support. Please understand if it takes longer than usual to respond to you. Stay safe.
Government guidance on the coronavirus can be found at:
Please find our COVID 19 Housing Law Update here
Please find our COVID-19 benefits update here
A seminar on current employment law issues can be found here
A seminar on current benefits issues can be found here
A seminar on current housing law issues can be found here
We provide free legal advice on community care, employment, housing and welfare benefits to disabled people and their carers to ensure that they have access to their rights and justice.
PLEASE NOTE THAT AS OUR OFFICE IS CLOSED DUE TO COVID 19 THERE WILL BE NO FACE TO FACE MEETINGS AT THIS TIME.
We aim to respond to enquiries within 3-5 working days but there may be delays during the Covid 19 outbreak.
Please note that we are not able to advise on every area of disability law due to funding constraints. Please see the dropdown menus ‘Our Services’ at the top of the page to see if we can help you.
Why We’re Needed
People with disabilities find it increasingly difficult to access the law.
Our free legal service is vital.
Our President, Lynne Brooke, solicitor, is one of the founders of Disability Law Service which was created by Kith & Kids, a parent self-help group for people with learning disabilities. The idea was for parents to be able to enforce their rights. Lynne served as a trustee for over 40 years during which he has overseen tremendous growth at Disability Law Service. His years of dedicated service to the cause we represent have made a huge contribution to our organisation.
Starting life in 1975 under Lynne’s guidance, The Disability Law Service was originally run on a voluntary part-time basis at a Camden community centre, providing face-to-face advice at weekly drop in sessions. The demand for our advice and guidance grew quickly, and funding was obtained allowing the acquisition of an office and employment of full time solicitors.
Never stinting in his commitment, Lynne oversaw the development of Disability Law Service to the organisation we are today. We are hugely grateful that Lynne’s experience, advice, and guidance remain available to us in his capacity as our President.
Professor Luke Clements
Luke Clements, the Cerebra Professor of Law and Social Justice at Leeds University, is a distinguished academic and lawyer who brings his insights to inform our policy work and campaigns.
Read more about Luke here.
Rt. Hon. Sir Ed Davey MP
Sir Ed, whose distinguished parliamentary career began in 1997 and who has served on the cabinet as Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, is a keen champion of the rights of disabled people.
Read more about Sir Ed here.
Paralympian 100 metre medallist, Andrew Small, is a proud patron of Disability Law Service. Inspired by the 2012 London Paralympics, Andrew has found success after an incredibly short period of time and we are convinced that his support of our charity will be equally successful.
Read more about Andrew here.
Following our campaign, Sir Ed Davey MP Introduces Bill for Carers on 10th June
Disabled people are rightly entitled to have reasonable adjustments made in their workplace conditions in order to ensure that they are able to work and can do so effectively. This right is provided for under the 2010 Equality Act.
In 2014 the Court of Appeal decided that this right is not available to carers. In that case the mother of a 17 year old disabled daughter was unable to seek a reasonable adjustment to her place of work in order that she could continue in work and conduct her duties as a carer.
We do not think that this is fair or right. The position has to change.
Today (10th June) our Patron, Rt. Hon Sir Ed Davey MP, will introduce a Bill to amend the Equality Act to provide reasonable adjustments for carers. It is our hope that the Government will adopt this Bill.
This would send a powerful message to both carers and the business community to the effect that a carer is to be accommodated in the workplace in the same way as a disabled person. This would be suitable recognition of the substantial contribution to society that carers make whilst making it easier for carers to remain in fulfilling employment, thereby reducing the need for reliance on benefits. Moreover, it would provide a framework for the retention by business of the talent that carers provide, with the resulting savings in costs by business that this would promote.
Discrimination against autistic children survey results are in
Thank you to everyone who completed our survey for autistic children.
The results show that 94% of autistic children have been refused an assessment by their Local Authority Children with Disabilities team. Additionally, 80% of those children were not referred for an alternative assessment. 97% of families agreed with us that policies need to change so that autistic children are not excluded from an assessment.
Our survey shows that the social care system is failing children who are on the autistic spectrum. The failure of providing an assessment is having a detrimental effect on their health & well-being.
Policies need to change so that autistic children have the right level of support to manage their individual needs.
Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, to highlight the challenges unpaid carers face and to recognise the contribution carers make to families and communities. There are 6.5 million people in the UK who are carers and due to the pandemic this has increased by an additional 4.5 million. We need to raise the profile of unpaid carers and together we can #MakeCaringVisible.
We are happy to be supporting carers week and will be doing the following activities:
Thursday 11th June at 11am
A webinar on carers assessments for adult and young carers. There will also be an opportunity for questions and answers. You can join the webinar using the link below –
Meeting ID: 862 6094 3602
Friday 12th June at 11am
A welfare benefits Q&A for carers and people who advise carers. You can register for this webinar here – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/carers-week-benefits-qa-by-disability-law-service-registration-107803320634