An in-depth examination of the implementation of the Disability Equality Duty in England

The Disability Equality Duty (DED) came into force in December 2006. It stipulated that all public sector organisations were to develop policies to promote the equality of disabled people as staff members, consumers or visitors.  Its emergence comes as part of a network of social policies developed over the last 20 years to promote disability rights and citizenship in the UK. However unlike previous legislation, the DED set in place the need for organisations to be pro-active in their policies and work with disabled people to move towards change in public sector cultures and working practices. This study reports on this early stage of implementation in England. Findings show that whilst some progress has been made in securing change, practice varied greatly. Therefore if a fundamental change in the culture of work and service provision is to be secured, this key requirement will need to be given a higher priority by organisations.


  • Charlotte Pearson
  • Nick Watson
  • Kirsten Stalker


December 2007 to July 2008


Office for Disability Issues


Pearson, C., Watson, N., Stalker, K., Lerpiniere, J., Paterson, K. and Ferrie, J. (forthcoming)‘Don’t get involved: An examination of how public sector organisations in England are involving disabled people in the Disability Equality Duty’, Disability and Society.

Report published by ODI