Discrimination legislation generally aims to prevent, rather than punish, discrimination.
Legislation is needed both to reduce systemic discrimination and individual incidences of discrimination.
Systemic discrimination includes discriminatory policies, attitudes, procedures and physical features that are built into the way our societies and organisations work., for example, the design of; buildings, transport systems, and information and communication systems.
Legislation tends to change behaviour first but will also help change attitudes over time (Think of the effect of seat belt laws).
Legislation is needed not only to prevent discrimination happening in the first place, but it is also needed to put right incidences of discrimination when they do happen.
Disability discrimination legislation has the effect of requiring employers and service providers to give more thought to removing barriers to participation.
These barriers may prevent; employees from being able to access employment and perform equally, or service users from being able to access a service, or customers being able to use a product because principles of universal design have not been applied.