To have a legal right to an adjustment, it must be considered 'reasonable'. There is no set definition of a 'reasonable' in the Equality Act. It depends on what you need, the situation and how much the adjustment might cost.
An adjustment can be physical, such as a ramp or hearing loop. Or it can mean changing the way people behave towards you, such as colleagues not covering their mouths when they are speaking if you lip read. Many adjustments cost very little and can have benefits for everyone. For example:
giving people who find noisy shopping environments difficult the chance to browse 30 minutes before a shop opens
autism-friendly cinema screenings
an employer offering flexible working
Employers and people providing services or education should consider all disabled people's requests for adjustments.
If the organisation, education provider or employer refuses your request, they should explain why. The reasons for refusal can help you decide whether it is discrimination.
An organisation or employer may legally refuse an adjustment if it was too expensive or would disrupt other people or the business. This is not discrimination.
Refusing to make an adjustment that is cheap and easy to implement could be discrimination.
It could also be discrimination if the employer, services or education provider:
tells you that you cannot get an adjustment because it's 'unusual' or 'favouritism'
discourages you from making a written request for reasonable adjustments
makes comments like "We are doing you a favour by having you here in the first place."
You should be able to get smaller and cheaper adjustments without proving that you're disabled. For larger adjustments, you might need to show that you claim a disability benefit or share a written report from a professional. You will always need written proof in court.
You should not have to prove that you have a condition. If a shop or public service refuse a smaller adjustment, complaining is probably the best way to get the support you need.
If you're trying to access a service that a company offers, social media can be useful. Complaining on Facebook or Twitter can be a good way to get companies to make smaller adjustments if they refuse them when you ask. Do not use social media to complain about your employer.
Examples of smaller adjustments could include:
being able to talk to shop staff somewhere quiet
being allowed behind the counter to pay if it's too high
For larger adjustments, you might be asked to prove that you have a condition or how it affects you. There is no 'register' for disabled people so proving things can be hard.
You could do this by showing that you:
get a state benefit like Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
are registered as blind or deaf with your local authority
have a disabled bus pass or railcard
have a Blue Badge
If you go to a court or tribunal, you will need to prove that your condition is classed as 'disabled' under the Equality Act. You will also need to prove that you are at a 'substantial disadvantage' compared to other people. This usually means a written report or letter. This could be from a:
County Court and tribunals
County Court or a tribunal is a way of enforcing your rights to reasonable adjustments. Getting advice about whether you have a legal case can help you decide how to get what you need.