The issue of disability falls under the Disability Discrimination Acts of 1995 and 2005 and it is the duty of all organisations to address disability issues which may affect their services, staff, members and the general public.
The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) defines a disabled person as someone who has a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. People with HIV, cancer and multiple sclerosis will be deemed to be covered by the DDA effectively from the point of diagnosis, rather than from the point when the condition has some adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
For the purposes of the Act:
Some conditions such as a tendency to set fires and hay fever, are specifically excluded.
The Southern Skirmish Association is committed to welcoming and encouraging the involvement of people of all skills and abilities, and will endeavour to develop appropriate roles for members in an imaginative and evolutionary way.
In the area of re-enacting, it is clear that a member with a disability should not be treated any less favourably that an able bodied member, without adequate justification. Where necessary reasonable adjustments should be made to assist members to participate in the activities of the Association, and where possible, safe and appropriate roles should be found to offer members and prospective members, bearing in mind the requirements of the historical presentation required, and the events which the Association attends.
However, it must be noted that adjustments which compromise health and safety of the member, other members or the general public are likely to be considered unreasonable, as are those which detract from historical authenticity, or cause a fundamental alteration to the provision of the performance or presentation required by the Association.
All fighting personnel must be fit enough on the day to attend parade, and take part in drill practice as directed by the regimental officer. If a member is unable to attend parade or carry out drill, they should not go on the field in a fighting capacity, unless a specific role can be found for them which does not require them to carry out these duties whilst maintaining an historically accurate impression.
Fighting infantry personnel must be able to stand, load and fire a musket unaided and without risk to themselves or others. Artillery personnel must be able to carry out all duties required of them to be able to load, fire and maintain a cannon.
Cavalry personnel must be able to competently ride and look after a horse unless given permission by the commanding officer to portray unmounted troops, in which case the same rules apply as to infantry.
Members who do not wish, or are unable to take a full part in the living history or battle scenarios are however most welcome to camp in the family camp areas, and to visit the living history sites and battles, as members of the public. They should wear either modern dress, or adhere to the minimum standards guidelines for period uniform/costume. A mixture of period and modern clothing is not acceptable.
Members who are not in period costume should not stay in the living history campsites other than as public visitors. These regulations apply to all members, able bodied or not.
Members who need specialist clothing must ensure that it is effectively camouflaged or hidden, so that it cannot be seen or recognised by the public as being modern.
All modern disability aids must be either disguised, covered or substituted. Every effort should be made to use items which are patterns of the period, including spectacles and tinted lenses.
Items which are unacceptable include:
Metal elbow crutches
Modern walking sticks
Modern slings, wrist supports, neck braces, dressings and bandages
Modern external hearing aids
Visual impairment sticks
Motorised transport systems
Members with permanent disabilities should discuss their needs with the EC in order to clarify which roles are most appropriate for them.
Members who become disabled, or have a temporary disability should discuss their position with their regimental officer, who will if necessary a member of the EC to consider the best way forward for them.
This issue must first be discussed with the regimental officer in advance, who will check with the EC Projects officer regarding allocated spaces for people who need special parking. Where necessary, special permits may be issued to ensure appropriate use of designated areas. However, this is dependent upon the logistics of the site, and the client’s requirements, so disability parking may be neither available, not met the expectations of all members.
Site access for both members and the general public will be discussed and agreed between the EC Projects officer and the client, in accordance with provisions for services to the public under section III of the Act. This will include entrance and egress to the site, the living history camps and the battlefield.
All written information given to the public (recruitment or educational leaflets etc), should be available in large print when required.