The Equality Advisory Support Service is uniquely placed to provide one to one support to individuals who need advice because they have been discriminated against or accept referrals from organisations who are facing capacity issues with the proviso of advice and guidance to their local community.
How do I know if I have been discriminated against and need to contact the EASS? The dictionary definition of discrimination is “treating a person or a particular group of people in a worse way from the way in which you treat other people, because of their race, sex, religion or belief, disability etc.
You are left feeling offended and questioning why you have been treated unfairly. It’s not always easy to identify if you have been treated unfairly by another person or organisation. This is where the EASS can help.
I think it’s fair to say most people have an idea of what is fair and what is not! So, to illustrate this further if as a parent you have a disabled child who is ready to move up to primary school and you have completed the local authority admissions form and have also provided supporting evidence as to why your child should be given a place at his school choice of first – so, in essence you have followed the local authorities own process – there is no conceivable reason in your mind why your child should be treated differently to any other – right! Wrong!
Or you go shopping wanting to continue being independent and self-reliant you place your few items of shopping in a trolley because due to the arthritis in your hands and recently recovering from a stroke holding a basket would be difficult. You were told that you have to move from the queue that you are stood in with your shopping because you’re at the express checkout not with a basket but with a trolley! You explain politely why this is the case and the store manager insists on embarrassing you so you move. You have then written a complaint and nothing is done.
In both of the examples given the EASS was able to contact the organisations concerned on behalf of the individual, writing on their behalf explaining why it was wrong to discriminate and reminding both of the organisations of their duties towards individuals who used their services.
In the latter example the client received an apology and the supermarket agreed to retrain their store managers and with the school admissions the little boy was able to successfully secure a place at his preferred school of choice.
The clear worth of the EASS service is to provide the one-to-one support individuals need, advising them of their rights and importantly how to resolve an issue informally without taking an issue to court or tribunal.
The EASS can also support local organisations to continue to serve their local communities. If you are struggling to provide the full range of services that you have provided historically to your community, the EASS can help to bridge the gap! Good quality advice provision within the field of discrimination and human rights is at a premium. It’s also an area which has a dramatic impact on the health and wellbeing of an individual – so if you are an organisation which is facing some challenging times then please feel free to use the EASS as a referral point.
Ask an individual to contact the EASS free of charge remind them to ensure that they tell us who advised to them to contact us and the EASS can then keep a record of the number of referrals it has received from your organisation and subject to resources may possibly also be able to advise you the types of issues we were contacted about.
For advice and information on discrimination and human rights
Contact us on Freephone
Telephone 0808 800 0082
Textphone 0808 800 0084
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