Does the Equality Act 2010 ensure equality for individuals with Asperger syndrome in the legal arena?: A survey of recent UK case law

Russell Foster


The recent history of AS has been perhaps the most controversial since the first publication relating to the syndrome in 1944, especially regarding its nosology. For example, the latest (5th) version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-V) published in May, 2013 does not include Asperger syndrome (AS) and instead refers to AS as an ‘autistic spectrum disorder’. This change is controversial, and indeed, supports the suggestion that the research presented in this article is timely, given the potential for AS (as defined prior to DSM-V) to disappear from current clinical practice and cease to be recognised in law. In this article I investigate whether the Equality Act 2010 ensures equality for individuals with AS in the legal arena. My investigation involved identifying individual cases using two commonly used legal search engines, Westlaw and LexisNexis. Following the identification of specific cases, these were then analysed for relevance using any available case analyses and official transcripts. The findings presented in this article suggest that the Law may well still be potentially discriminating and not ensuring equality for individuals with AS, despite the introduction of the Equality Act 2010.


Asperger syndrome; autism; Equality Act 2010


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