R (Rowley) v Minister for the Cabinet Office: BSL interpreters

The High Court held that the UK government had failed to make a reasonable adjustment by not providing British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters for two televised Coronavirus data briefings. However for ongoing Coronavirus briefings – given the use of detailed data slides – the court held that “in-screen” BSL interpretation was enough to satisfy the … Read more

R (VC) v Secretary of State for the Home Department

This appeal concerned reasonable adjustments for those with mental illnesses detained under the Immigration Act. The Court of Appeal held that the Secretary of State had failed to make reasonable adjustments, such as arranging advocates to assist mentally ill detainees in making representations about decisions to detain them. The court said that as in employment … Read more

Lee v Ashers Baking (‘gay cake’ case)

A bakery in Northern Ireland refused to supply a cake iced with the message “support gay marriage” because of the religious beliefs of its owners. The Supreme Court held this was not discrimination by association because the objection was to the message, not to any particular person or persons. Supreme Court, 2018, www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKSC/2018/49.html Facts A … Read more

Blamires v Local Government Ombudsman

The claimant had ME/CFS, and also dystonia which affected her speech. She referred a complaint against a county council to the Local Government Ombudsman and requested support because of her and her husband’s disabilities, including one or more face-to-face meetings rather than just using email. The Ombudsman lost the request, and turned down subsequent requests … Read more

Paulley v FirstGroup plc

A bus company had a policy that if a wheelchair user needed the wheelchair space, the driver would request other passengers to vacate it, but would not require them to. The Supreme Court held that the driver need not actually require the non-disabled passenger to move, but if after making a request the driver considers … Read more

Finnigan v Northumbria Police

The Court of Appeal dismissed a claim for reasonable adjustments by a deaf person whose house was searched by the police. He argued they should have brought a sign language interpreter. As regards what adjustments the police should reasonably have made, the Court of Appeal criticised the lower court for looking at the individual claimant … Read more

MM & DM v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Mental health patients (MHPs) claiming Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) argued that the government was failing to make reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act 2010. The Court of Appeal largely upheld an Upper Tribunal judgment which had found MHPs were being put at a substantial disadvantage. (The tribunal had felt unable to decide on current … Read more

LH Bishop v Commissioners of Revenue and Customs

The tribunal held there was a breach of the European Convention of Human Rights where businesses were required to submit VAT returns online, without appropriate exemptions for people who because of disability (or some other reasons) were unable to use a computer. The case seems relevant to whether people who stammer should be expected to … Read more

Edwards v Flamingo Land

The Court of Appeal held that a restaurant did not have to make a reasonable adjustment to allow a disabled family to eat in a picnic area immediately next to the outdoor tables. Whether or not that would be reasonable, it would be a different kind of service. The case was under DDA 1995 rather … Read more

Royal Bank of Scotland v Allen

The Court of Appeal found a bank to be in breach of the reasonable adjustment duty, because its main branch in Sheffield was not accessible to wheelchair users. Even if banking services could be accessed in alternative ways, such as over the internet, the policy of the Disability Discrimination Act was to provide a service … Read more