The Disability Law Service is a charitable organisation that provides free legal advice to the disabled and their families.
The service has a telephone advice line: 0207 791 9800 But due to the high volume of calls they operate a triage system to prioritise calls. They will however respond to written queries.
There are a large number of factsheets free to download covering community care, education, employment, welfare, discrimination and human rights. They are available in a variety of formats including large print and audio.
The Equality Act 2010 protects the disabled from discrimination and offers legal help in certain areas including employment, education and access.
It also provides the same protection for carers or parents of people of the disabled.
The Act says a person is considered disabled if they have a physical or mental impairment that a 'substantial and long-term effect on their ability to perform day to day activities'.
'Substantial' is defined as 'more than minor or trivial' and 'long-term' as being likely to last for at least twelve months. Eating, washing, walking and shopping are among the many things considered as 'day to day activities'.
The Equality Act replaced the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) of 2005. However, the Disability Equality Duty in the DDA still applies alongside the Equality Act 2010. This requires Government and Public bodies to have 'due regard' to the needs of the disabled when making decisions on policies and services.
The Acts can be used to ensure that disabled people are given the same rights as everyone else. Employers, shops and other establishments are expected to comply with all the points defined in the Acts.
The Home Farm Trust (HFT) have created a PDF Guide to the Mental Capacity Act.
"Using the Mental Capacity Act - A guide for families and friends of people with Learning Difficulties" can be downloaded from their website.
The guide is supported with videos and gives links to further information from other organisations.
A hardback copy of the guide can be purchased by sending an A4 stamped addressed envelope (with £1.65 - 1st class or £1.48 - second class) to Hft, Family Carer Support Service, 6 Brook Office Park, Folly Brook Road, Emersons Green, Bristol, BS16 7FL