I’ve written a Guide for Disabled People to Sue Service Providers for Disability Discrimination, as Unrepresented Litigants in Person in England. (Otherwise known as DART – the Disability Attitude Readjustment Tool.) Suing isn’t as difficult or risky as it might sound. Given that only the person discriminated against can take action, and legal aid is effectively non-existent, this is now pretty much the only way to enforce one’s legal rights; though Unity Law are a great exception.
This accompanying post provides extra resources to go with the guide. NB: many of the examples have been anonymised due to non-disclosure agreements. Don’t be over-awed – suing is actually a simple process and you will probably never need most of the following. (There’s a lot here because I want to give many examples and cover many circumstances, much of which you won’t use.)
The guide (current version 1.6, November 2015)
Download DART – the Disability Attitude Re-adjustment Tool – .doc Format
Download DART – the Disability Attitude Re-adjustment Tool – .pdf Format
View DART – the Disability Attitude Re-adjustment Tool as a webpage
Download DART – the Disability Attitude Re-adjustment Tool .mp3 audio – Audiobook .mp3 format (in a .zip file)
I don’t get any money from the above third party printing service. They do seem to do a good job though.
|DART – the Disability Attitude Re-adjustment Tool by Doug Paulley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.|
- iCASTS. Graham Kirwan-Dudley’s excellent resources to support blind, partially sighted and print disabled people to challenge service providers’ failure to meet people’s accessible communications needs, and to enforce their rights under the Equality Act. Incorporates some of “DART”.
- The Stammering Law website. Gives excellent and comprehensive information about disability discrimination and the Equality Act. (Goes well beyond “just” stammering.) Written by an ex-lawyer. I thoroughly recommend this site. It goes into detail on some of the issues I gloss over or don’t even mention in my guide, due to my wish to keep the guide as un-daunting and as usable as possible, so if you aren’t clear on something, check this website.
- Towards Access. Excellent website on common access problems, reasonable adjustments, the disability discrimination law and common misconceptions about it.
- Statutory Equality Act Code of Practice on Services, Public Functions and Associations – useful guidance and examples about what service providers have to do under the Act.
- HM Court Service FormFinder – for anything not listed below (all PDF):
- Court finder – gives address, accessibility, other contact details for the court service. You want a County Court.
- A Guide to Bringing and Defending a Small Claim (PDF) – Civil Justice Council. Gives more detail on the process, including costs.
- The Bar Council’s Guide to Representing yourself in Court
- Circuit Judges’ Handbook for Litigants in Person (PDF) – NB: useful reference but more in-depth than you’ll hopefully need.
- The Civil Procedure Rules and Directions instructions for court procedures.
- Practice Direction – Pre-action Conduct – what you should do before starting your case
- Practice Direction 18 – Requesting Further Information
- Practice Direction 27 Appendix B – Standard Directions – if you’re asked for them and choose not to use my template below
- Practice Direction 36A – Offers to Settle
- The Citizen’s Advice Bureau’s useful Guide to the Small Claims Track
- The Small Claims Mediation Service
- Other Mediators
- The Equality Act 2010. You generally don’t need to read this!
- Requesting your own Personal Information – guide by the Information Commissioner on Subject Access Requests.
- Companies House – to look up the head office of the defendant, assuming it’s a company.
- Unity Law. Excellent campaigning solicitors that take on many disability discrimination cases “no win no fee” or “pro bono” (free!) – great if you don’t feel confident enough to represent yourself using my guide.They also offer some good resources (though you may have to register and give your email address to get them – a bone of contention of mine…)
- Disability discrimination: A guide to writing a complaint (PDF) – great guidance on writing a Letter before Action
- Letter of complaint template: difficulty accessing the high street (PDF) – says it’s a .doc but isn’t.
- Letter of complaint: difficulty accessing education (higher education) (PDF) – (again not a .doc)
- Letter of complaint: difficulty accessing public transport (PDF) – (again not a .doc)
- Law Centres – best way of getting affordable representation.
- An incomplete list of my cases and how they finished up… (Google sheets)
- The House of Lords Select Committee on the Equality Act 2010 and Disability Investigating the provisions and implementation of the Equality Act 2010 about how it serves disabled people.
- Crippen / Dave Lupton Cartoons – who created the excellent cartoons I have borrowed for the guide.
- The Disability Rights Commission‘s “How to Sue” booklet (PDF). This is out of date, but very useful. Replace “Disability Discrimination Act / DDA 1995” with “Equality Act 2010“, and remember that the Small Claims Track now goes up to £10,000 instead of £5,000, that there’s now no allocation fee but there is a hearing fee, even in small claims cases, and it’s pretty spot on.
- Example Letters before Action: (doc)
- Tesco (disabled toilet locked out of use) (includes Subject Access Request)
- Pub (locked wheelchair accessible door)
- Counsellor (canceled session when realised no wheelchair access to their premises)
- Bus firm (refused to operate ramp)
- Train (broken disabled toilet) (includes subject access request)
- Court service (general failures)
- Pub (perennially broken disabled toilet)
- Court (thought chairlift was wheelchair access)
- Underground train (failure to keep access info up to date)
- Snooker club (broken lift)
- Example completed Claim Forms (N1) (PDFs)
- Example Particulars of Claim (.doc)
- Example Exemption Claim for issuing (EX160A)
- Example Allocation and Directions Questionnaires:
- Draft Directions Template – download and customise to your needs
- Draft Witness Statement templates:
- Example Tomlin orders (open agreements) (PDFs):
- Example Notice of Discontinuance (N279) (PDFs):
- Example Application to Strike Out Defence (N244) (PDFs):
- Example Part 18 Request and Refusal (.doc):
- Example Part 36 Offers to Settle:
- Example Judgment (may all yours be like this!) (PDF)
With thanks to the many people who enabled this to happen – including proof readers Max, Mike, Mum and Dad