Diversity means difference. When it is used with equality, it is about recognising individual as well as group differences, treating people as individuals, and placing positive value on diversity. Diversity is about acknowledging your prejudices, allowing people to be different and respecting these differences. It is also about challenging others if necessary and speaking up for the individuals you support when they cannot speak up for themselves.
Discrimination is a preconceived attitude towards members of a particular group formed only upon the basis of their membership of that group that leads to less favourable or bad treatment of that person. The attitude is often resistant to change even in the light of new information. It is essential that you do not allow your prejudices to influence the way you work with individuals. Most people have experienced discrimination in one way or another. Some people are more likely to suffer discrimination. These people might be: older people, young people, females, disabled people, homosexuals, lesbians, transgender people and ethnic minorities.
Here are some examples of discrimination:
Not employing a married woman because she is likely to take time off work due to pregnancy in the future.
A woman with visual and hearing impairments has booked a minicab. The driver asks her to pay the fare in advance, something which he would not require from other passengers. The driver believes, without good reason, that because of her disability she is less likely to be able to pay.
A landlord refuses to rent a property to a woman because she is pregnant.
A family doctor refers all black patients to a black doctor at the practice, solely because of their colour, not their particular needs. This constitutes direct discrimination on grounds of race.
Failing to offer food to take account of cultural differences such as kosher or halal foods. A public building does not provide reasonable access for a person in a wheelchair to be able to access the building in the same way as other people CIS Assessment Induction Workbook – Four
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1.2 Know how discrimination might occur in your work setting, both deliberately and inadvertently
Direct discrimination could take place if individuals are treated less favourably or given a lower standard of service than other individuals because of their gender, race, ethnicity, culture, disability, religion, sexuality, class, mental health and age.
You must be aware of your own prejudices and make absolutely sure that you do not provide a different standard of care or support to the individuals you are working with.
Indirect discrimination could take place when a rule or policy that applies equally to everybody is more restrictive for people from a certain group. For example, if a council only produces information about its homeless applications procedure in English, this puts people whose first language is not English at an unfair disadvantage and could be seen as indirect discrimination. If the council has a good reason for having a particular policy in place (for example, because it's necessary on health or safety grounds) then this won't be indirect