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Term Definition

Disability Discrimination Act 1992

Direct discrimination

When a person is treated unfavourably because they have an attribute (such as age or disability) covered by law or are associated with someone with this attribute.


Disability is defined in section 4 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 as:

  • total or partial loss of the person's bodily or mental functions; or
  • total or partial loss of a part of the body; or
  • the presence in the body of organisms causing disease or illness; or
  • the presence in the body of organisms capable of causing disease or illness; or
  • the malfunction, malformation or disfigurement of a part of the person's body; or
  • a disorder or malfunction that results in the person learning differently from a person without the disorder or malfunction; or
  • a disorder, illness or disease that affects a person's thought processes, perception of reality, emotions or judgment or that results in disturbed behaviour;

and includes a disability that:

  • presently exists; or
  • previously existed but no longer exists; or
  • may exist in the future (including because of a genetic predisposition to that disability); or
  • is imputed to a person.

To avoid doubt, a disability that is otherwise covered by this definition includes behaviour that is a symptom or manifestation of the disability.

Source: Section 4 Disability Discrimination Act 1992

Disability discrimination

When someone is treated unfairly because they have a disability or are associated with someone with disability.

Disability Discrimination Act 1992

The Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA) makes it against the law to treat people unfairly because of a disability.

Disability Standards for Education 2005

A framework to clarify the obligations of education and training providers and ensure that students with disability are able to access and participate in education on the same basis as other students. The Disability Standards for Education were developed under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and have five parts:

  • enrolment
  • participation
  • curriculum development, accreditation and delivery
  • student services
  • harassment and victimisation.

Disability Standards for Education 2005

Disability Standards for Education explanatory statement

Disability Standards for Education guidance notes


When someone is treated less favourably than another person in similar circumstances because they have, or their associate has, an attribute (such as age or disability) covered by the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 or other laws. Discrimination can be direct or indirect.

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