Your Rights    

People with disability have the same rights as all members of the community. 

The Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (CWTH) and the Anti Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW) makes disability discrimination unlawful and aims to promote equal opportunity and access to people with disability.

Your right to a fair go

The Anti-Discrimination Act 1977(NSW) states that every person has the right to expect to be treated fairly and achieve equal outcomes.

Anti-Discrimination NSW provides information on all areas of unlawful discrimination.  Anti-Discrimination NSW can provide you with:

  • free and confidential advice and

  • publications about your rights.

The publications include guidelines on how to lodge complaints and information on attending tribunal and conciliation conferences. This information is available in community languages or in English.

The Discrimination Tool Kit

The Discrimination Tool Kit is a useful document that provides extensive information on all forms of discrimination and how to make a complaint. 

Produced and developed by Elizabeth Evatt Community Legal Centre, Kingsford Legal Centre and Legal Aid New South Wales it is available from the Kingsford Legal Centre website.

What is discrimination?

Discrimination occurs when someone is treated unfairly because they happen to belong to a particular group of people or have a particular characteristic. Many people have fixed attitudes about groups of people who are different from themselves. Those fixed attitudes can lead to discrimination.

What types of discrimination are unlawful in NSW?

In NSW many types of discrimination are unlawful. This includes discrimination on the basis of:

  • Disability

  • Aboriginality

  • Age

  • Carers' responsibilities

  • Homosexuality

  • Infectious diseases

  • Marital status

  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding

  • Race

  • Sex

  • Transgender

Their fact sheets will provide you with detailed information on your rights in each type of discrimination and how to make a complaint about discrimination.

But, these types of discrimination and harassment are only against the law if they happen in one of the following places or circumstances.

Areas of discrimination


This includes everything to do with work - applying for a job, what happens at work and leaving a job.

State education

This includes everything to do with State schools, colleges and universities - getting a place and what happens in them. Private educational institutions are allowed to discriminate against people because of their sex, marital status, age, homosexuality, transgender status or disability. However, they are not allowed to discriminate against people because of their race. In addition, they must not allow or tolerate sexual harassment.

Goods and services

This includes buying goods, and getting services - for example, from banks, lawyers, government departments, hospitals, doctors, pubs, entertainment places, shops, local councils.


This includes everything to do with renting flats, houses, hotel/motel rooms, caravans and commercial premises.


This includes becoming a member of a registered club, entry into a club and the services you get in a club. A registered club is any club that sells alcohol or has gambling machines.

Your right to access the Department of Communities & Justice's services

The  Department of Communities and Justice Disability Inclusion Action Plan is being developed to ensure all people can access our services. The Disability Inclusion Action Plan identifies the Departments responsibilities, objectives, goals and policies in relation to people with disability. The plan includes strategies to:

  • eliminate discriminatory practices
  • create accessible facilities
  • provide flexible services to clients and disability inclusive workplaces for staff with disability

The former Department of Justice Disability Inclusion Action Plan 2015-18 is available for viewing.

Victims rights

If you are a victim as a direct result of a criminal offence, and you have suffered physical or emotional harm, loss or damage to property, Victims Services can help. Find out more about victims rights.

Legal rights information

If you need legal help, LawAccess is a telephone service that can provide free advice and referrals. Call 1300 888 529.

  • People who are Deaf or hard of hearing use the national relay service to contact us call: 133 677.
  • People with speech impairments use the national relay service speak and listen service 1300 555 727.
  • If you need a free telephone interpreter call 131 450 and ask to speak with LawAccess on 1300 888 529.

​The Justice Advocacy Service

People with cognitive disability who come into contact with criminal justice system may be able to get support of an advocate to help them . Find out more about the Justice Advocacy Service.