Equality is ensuring that individuals or groups of individuals are treated fairly and equally regardless of their differences. When we say differences, this could mean religion and beliefs, gender, disability, sexual orientation, age and race – these are just some examples of what makes us differ from others. We must ensure that things are put in place to promote quality and discourage discrimination. For example, a Muslim cannot eat pork as it goes against their beliefs. We must ensure that other food options available to fit the needs of this individual and ensure that they’re being treated equally.
Diversity is the ways in which people are different from one another. Understanding other people’s differences and cultures by taking into account their views/perspectives and beliefs is vital when promoting diversity. In all Health and Social care settings it is a legal requirement to respect and promote diversity, regardless if you’re views are completely different to the individual’s.
Not promoting equality and diversity then leads to discrimination. Discrimination is an act of prejudice against a person or group based on the differences they hold. Treating certain individuals different from others is also another act of discrimination. There are 4 main types of discrimination – direct, indirect, unfair and positive discrimination. Direct discrimination is when someone is rude, hostile or offensive to someone because they can see their differences. This type of discrimination is done deliberately to single out an individual or a group. Indirect discrimination is when something is discriminating towards others but not done purposely and maliciously. This mainly occurs when there is a policy that applies the same way for everybody but then disadvantages a group of a people with a specific difference or characteristic who cannot abide to the policy. Unfair discrimination is when a person or group is treated unfairly compared to someone else. Finally, positive discrimination is when a decision is made in a person’s favour because there is something different about them.
It is vital for discrimination to be prevented as it has a lot of negative effects on someone’s emotional wellbeing. Those who face discrimination may experience problems such as anxiety, depression, low self-esteem and bad self-image. Most people are unwilling to report any discrimination that they face because they believe it is just a waste of time. Failure to report discrimination could cause these issues to lead to much worse outcomes such as eating disorders, self-harm and a major lack of motivation. Preventing discrimination allows individuals to feel safe and secure within any area/environment. Making an area fit the needs of specific individuals will make them feel much more valued and accept as they know the right things are in place for them e.g. a wheelchair ramp, an area which shows acceptance of differences such as gender, prayer rooms etc.
It is important to focus on four main initiatives when preventing discrimination – access, diet, support and use of advocacy services. Access ensures that an environment can be adapted. This prevents discrimination as things can be put in place to fit the needs of everyone. For example, disabled toilets, automatic doors and wide corridors for wheelchair users, lifts, ramps etc. Diet ensures that there are wide range of foods to choose from. This prevents discrimination as those with medical conditions, religious requirements or cultural preferences can be catered to correctly. The use of advocacy services allows advocates to be used, an advocate is someone who talks on behalf of someone else. This prevents discrimination as it offers support to those who have trouble speaking for various reasons such as hearing/speech impairments, disability, lack of confidence, illness, and language. Support ensures that resources and information are amended to become accessible for everyone and reflect local cultures. This prevents discrimination as the resources and information will come in a range of different languages and formats which can be accessed by those with translators, advocates, and interpreters.
The four initiatives can be put in place to prevent Tremayne M. from being discriminated. Tremayne had broken his left leg in three different places meaning he was admitted to hospital. The hospital could ensure that they have lifts for Tremayne to use as he may find that walking up and down stairs is too difficult.