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.
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.
Whether by helpful advice over the phone, the provision of online fact-sheets or full representation at tribunal, we provide a vital service to some 4,000 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.
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.
How We Help – A Case Study
We believe that our support of disabled employees works for the benefit of our clients and their employers. For example:
Zelda is autistic and worked for 18 months for a line manager who did not take account of her condition when providing instructions. She became unwell and had to spend time away from work because of stress.
When she approached DLS she received advice that led to her obtaining a reasonable adjustment in the form of her new line manager agreeing to be clear about what is expected and using a weekly meeting with Zelda to agree work priorities. The solution is in the interests of Zelda and her employer and is an example of how legal advice can work to the advantage of all involved.
What Our Clients Say
“I am so grateful for your advice and this wonderful free service, it has been a godsend.”
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your help...It is more appreciated than perhaps you can know, and it will make a very big difference to my life.”
“It was reassuring to get a straight answer from you and your clear advice was invaluable.”