Between spring 06 and summer 07 the Disability Rights Commission (DRC) conducted a formal investigation examining the barriers that disabled people face when entering and staying in nursing, teaching and social work.

The investigation has brought to light problems within current regulations. During their investigation they found around 70 separate pieces of legislation and statutory guidance laying down requirements for ‘good health’ or ‘physical and mental fitness’. These requirements in the past have resulted in disabled people becoming discouraged from entering into these professions. However, this is not the intended outcome of these legislations, as disabled people should not have to face barriers when entering employment.

The report also highlights, more than 10 years on from the passage of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) much of the legislation and guidance that regulates entry to these professions, still does not reflect the DDA and undermines disabled equality.

In conclusion the DRC reports:

“It seems that where disabled people are concerned, it is as patients, pupils or clients-and not as professionals”