About Us

Who We Are

Disability Law Service is a unique charity that has been providing free legal advice and representation for Disabled people since 1975.  In fulfilling our purpose, fighting injustice for Disabled people, we work  to challenge the poverty and inequality faced by those with disabilities by securing for them access to justice and to their legal rights.

DLS is a Deaf and Disabled People’s Organisation (DDPO) which means that we are run by and for Disabled people. Our Board of Trustees has at least 75% of representation from Deaf and Disabled people and at least 50% of our paid staff team are Deaf or Disabled with representation at all levels of the organisation. We believe that experts by experience should be at the forefront of shaping services, policy and practice.

All the people that DLS helps are Disabled people, or family members or carers who contact us on the disabled person’s behalf. They have a variety of impairments or long term limiting health conditions. Many have hidden disabilities such as epilepsy, diabetes, autistic spectrum disorder or mental health problems, which can make daily life, employment and accessing services particularly difficult.

Our Services

Whether by helpful advice over the phone, the provision of online factsheets or full representation at tribunal, we provide a vital service to more than 5,000 Disabled people each year, many of whom are in distress as a result of discrimination or improper care.

We provide a full service of advice and representation for employment (including disability discrimination) and community care.  We also maintain online resources and factsheets in these areas as well as in relation to Welfare Benefits, Goods and Services discrimination and Higher Education.

We also provide bespoke training programmes, and resources for charities and corporations. These trainings cover various aspects of the law, and enable organisations to better support their Disabled clients, and work towards system change.

Why We Are Needed

Almost half of people in poverty in the UK are disabled or living in a household with a disabled person (New Policy Institute, 2016).

This makes access to legal advice difficult given the costs involved.

Our free service is vital.

There is a deficit in legal advice centres for Disabled people across the country. Our legal expertise places us in a unique position to train and support other organisations so they too can provide vital support to Disabled people, helping them fight discrimination and injustice.

How You Can Help

Whether by volunteering or donating, or by persuading your company that training by DLS is important, you can make a vital contribution to our work.

When it comes to legal advice, many may expect that a donation will not go far. But we are structured to ensure efficiency such that £5 will enable a disabled person to get initial advice to assist them with obtaining access to the law and their rights. As a charity where 97.2% of donations go directly into providing services to Disabled people, donors can be sure that their money will be put to valuable use.

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