Rahul Sharma (Editor)

Disability Discrimination Act 1992

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Enacted by  Senate
First reading  26 May 1992
Introduced by  Brian Howe
Disability Discrimination Act 1992
Citation  Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth)
Enacted by  House of Representatives
Bill introduced in the House of Representatives  Disability Discrimination Bill 1992

The Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA) was an act passed by the Parliament of Australia in 1992 which prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in employment, education, publicly available premises, provision of goods and services, accommodation, clubs and associations, and other contexts. Discrimination is defined to include failing to make reasonable adjustments for the person.


Complaints made under the DDA are made to the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Background to the legislation

At the time of the enactment of the DDA, a variety of anti-discrimination acts for people with disabilities already existed in the different state legislatures, some dating back to the early 1980s. All States and Territories except Tasmania and the Northern Territory had anti-discrimination laws in place, and these two places had legislation under consideration. There were three reasons given for enacting a federal law:

  • To standardise the scope of rights offered around the country
  • To implement the Australian Government’s obligations as a signatory to international declarations on the rights of people with disabilities.
  • To enable regulation of discriminatory practices of Commonwealth authorities.
  • Productivity Commission report

    In 2004, the findings of the Productivity Commission's enquiry with regards to the DDA were published. The Commission found that while there was still room for improvement, particularly in reducing discrimination in employment, overall the DDA had been reasonably effective.

    In addition, the Commission found that people with a disability were less likely to finish school, to have a TAFE or university qualification and to be employed. They are more likely to have a below average income, be on a pension, live in public housing and in prison. The average personal income for people with a disability is 44 per cent of the income of other Australians.

    Maguire v Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (2000)

    This case, brought by Bruce Maguire, centred on the website of the Sydney 2000 Olympics, and the inability of those with vision impairments to efficiently use the website in comparison to an able-bodied person.

    In its decision, the Commission found that the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (SOCOG) had discriminated against the complainant in contravention of s24 of the Disability Discrimination Act, "in that the web site does not include ALT text on all images and image maps links, the Index to Sports cannot be accessed from the Schedule page and the Results Tables provided during the Games on the web site will remain inaccessible."

    The Commission's decision also struck out claims by SOCOG that modifying the site to meet the requirements would cause unjustifiable hardship and established that such hardship cannot be used to avoid liability for breaching s24 of the Act. SOCOG was furthered ordered to render the website accessible by 15 September 2000.


    Disability Discrimination Act 1992 Wikipedia