Unfortunately, it is important to note that it is very difficult to claim any kind of discrimination for ADHD without a formal diagnosis due to evidence, which makes the waiting times for referals very frustrating indeed. That doesn’t affect your basic human rights though, which are part of general law. Below is the legal guidance which covers ADHD in the UK.
The Equality Act 2010 is the most signifcant piece of legislation that covers ADHD and the right not to be discriminated for it. This combined previous legislation such as Sex Discrimination Act 1975, Race Relations Act 1976 and Disability Discrimination Act 1995.
The Equality Act clearly states reasonable adjustments must be made by any provsion accessed by a person with a disability to ensure that they avoid being placed at a disadvantage in relation to others who do not have a disability.
For more information on the Equality Act 2010 see here
In the Work Place
The Equality Act does cover people with ADHD in the work place, but unfortunately there are many employers who just don’t know enough about ADHD to be able to support the condition. Fortunately, that’s where the Department for Work and Pensions comes in. They have a whole section dedicated to helping people with disabilities such as ADHD be supported in the work place, it’s called Access to Work.
Access to Work can deliver training courses to your company to better help them support you, but they can also work with you as well to develop healthy coping strategies to assist you in doing your job.
Education legislation probably supports ADHD the most, but it’s also very complex leading to people (especially parents) becoming extremely confused, frustrated and unable to navigate it.
Nearly ten years ago, the Families and Children Act 2014 revolutioned the legal process for anybody under 25 in full time education. it suggested the introduction of a legal document which asserted the right to support for anybody who needs signifcant support accross the education ,health or care sector.
This resulted in Statemented Education plans transfering over to what is now known as Education, Health and Care Plans’ more commonly known as EHCPs. The advantage of this is it allows for better professional partnership working across the different sectors and more consistency in support for the child or young person. Also, because of it being a legal document it will follow them to different educational, care or health settings, so if they move for any reasons their support is firmly protected.
Unfortunately, getting an EHCP is easier said then done, due to funding issues and needs having to meet the thresehold of moderate to significant difficulties. Most children or young people with ADHD when given medication can function in a classroom environment, so it’s unsual for them to have an EHCPs unless medication isn’t fully effective or they have signifcant difficulties across multiple areas.
To find out more about the Families and Children Act 2014 see here.
The SEND Code of Practice 2014 gives further guidance on the processes involved for an EHC application, who should be involved and how it works in practical terms. This particular guidance also introduced the role of a SENCO (special educational needs co-ordinator) as someone every education setting must have and who is responsible for ensuring that all children with addiitonal needs are able to access their education effecitvely regardless of whether they have an Education, health and care plan.
To find out more about the SEND Code of Practice 2014 see here.
It’s also worth noting that in 1989 the UK signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, making a commitment to do all they could to enhance the identity, health and opportunities of the UK’s children.
FInd out more about this UN Convention here