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Showing posts from October, 2014

Overcoming disability bias is key to equality

The Equal Opportunities Commission has initiated a consultation exercise over the review of our discrimination law. A major area of consultation is in disability equality and rights.

The commission recognises that our Disability Discrimination Ordinance (DDO) has significantly lagged behind the global trend and fallen short of international standards since its enactment in 1996.

When talking about disability rights, the most crucial thing is to define disability.

In many common law jurisdictions, disability is set out in broad terms - impairment, malfunction or disorder. Hong Kong's DDO models its definition on Australian law, basing it on a person's traits. The definition is so broad as to include short-term illness.

Britain's Equality Act 2010, however, adopts a different approach. Disability means an impairment having substantial and long-term adverse effects on the person's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. It defines disability in relation to particip…