Disability equality  

The Disability Discrimination Act 2005 amended the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and introduced a duty on public authorities to promote equality for disabled people. Under the Act the council is required, when carrying out its functions, to pay due regard to the need to:

  • Eliminate discrimination that is unlawful under this Act
  • Eliminate harassment of disabled persons that is related to their disabilities
  • Promote equality of opportunity between disabled persons and other persons
  • Take steps to take account of disabled persons' disabilities, even where that involves treating disabled persons more favourably than other persons
  • Promote positive attitudes towards disabled persons
  • Encourage participation by disabled persons in public life.

Disability Equality Scheme 20010/13

Tower Hamlets Council would like to say thank you to everyone involved in producing this Disability Equality Scheme, from the disabled people who took part in focus groups and gave their views on how we can improve the services we provide, to all the staff who helped gather the evidence and gave their time and support in organising the final editing of the document, your input has been invaluable. We believe that this Scheme will help us ensure that whenever and wherever we deliver services we are always thinking about the needs of disabled people and have produced an action plan that will enable us to strengthen and improve on providing equality for disabled people. 

To see the draft Scheme see attachments below:

Disability Equality Scheme (DES) - Year 3

Welcome to Tower Hamlets Council’s progress report on the third year of the Disability Equality Scheme. The Council’s first Disability Equality Scheme (DES) was published on 4 December 2006. The Scheme set out the objectives and key actions for the Council and has been fundamental in helping us to improve services to local disabled residents and disabled staff.

For further information see the attachments below:

Disability Equality Scheme - 2007/10  - Year 2

Our Disability Equality Scheme sets out the actions we will take to address key priorities of local disabled people and staff over the next three years. The priorities were informed by a series of workshops held during autumn 2006. The involvement of disabled people in the process is critical to the success of the scheme.

Disability Equality Scheme documents

If you require Bengali, Vietnamese or Somali translations of this report, please contact the Diversity & Equalities Team on 020 7364 1963 or 020 7364 5347.


Locally we have a wide range of organisations providing services to disabled people. these cover all natures of disability, such as:

  • Sensory
  • Physical and Mental
  • Learning

See link below for details of organisations in Tower Hamlets:

Disabled Organisations in Tower Hamlets (pdf, 126 kb) (last updated July 2009)

To update the database please contact Barry Clark on 0207 364 5347 or barry.clark@towerhamlets.gov.uk

Definitions of the different kinds of disabilities are listed below. The definitions are taken from Directgov. 


Sensory impairment refers to a defect in sensing and passing on the impulse. This leads to absence of sensation and neuronal coordination. People with sensory impairment may not be able to hear or speak or view or smell or feel or react to the stimuli given to the respective sensory systems. The impairment may be caused by aging and other physiological changes, accident or injuries etc.

Physical and Mental

The term ‘disability' covers both physical and mental impairments that have a substantial and long-term (i.e. has lasted or is expected to last for at least 12 months) effect on the person's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

Normal day-to-day activities are ones that involve:

  • Mobility
  • Manual dexterity
  • Physical co-ordination
  • Continence
  • Ability to lift, carry, or otherwise move everyday objects
  • Perception of the risk of physical danger


‘Learning disability’ is an umbrella term covering many different intellectual disabilities. It means that a person’s capacity to learn is affected and that they may not learn things as quickly as other people. Sometimes a learning disability is called a learning difficulty, intellectual impairment or intellectual disability.

Contact us:

Scrutiny and Equality Team
Chief Executive’s Directorate
Mulberry Place
5 Clove Crescent
London E14 2BG

Tel: 020 7364 5347