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Community research and consultation

The consultation, research and information about our communities that we use to help set our equality objectives.

The Single Equality Act requires public bodies to account of the needs of people who share a characteristic which may affect the manner in which they use services.

These are known as 'protected characteristics'. We will also take into account any research data (opens in a new window)that we have in the county, and will continue to undertake research with residents to identify needs.

Protected characteristics:


Consultation and information - adults:

Consultation and information - children and young people:

Age reports


Disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long term adverse effect on the ability to carry out normal day to day activities. People with a severe disfigurement are also protected by the act, without needing to show that it has a substantial adverse effect on day to day activities.

Information and consultation

The Dorset Equalities Partnership has commissioned various disability groups to write Factsheets on the different aspects of disability:

Further information is also available:

Disability Etiquette Guide (pdf, 224kb) (opens in a new window) - A practical and easy to use Tool Kit to help confidently and competently involve and interact with service users (older and disabled people, and people with long term health conditions) and their carers.

For more information on disability see:

More information for Disability is available on in the following places:

Health, Wellbeing and Disability

Disability reports

Gender identity

The provision removes the previous requirement for the process to have to be undertaken under medical supervision. So it will cover, for example, someone who is born physically male but who decides to live permanently as a woman.  The most common term used to refer to people who live in the opposite gender to that of their birth is 'Trans'.

Information and consultation

Race and ethnicity

Information and consultation

This is Our Home Too (pdf, 534kb) (opens in a new window) is a report which details the findings of a number of focus groups held in West Dorset by the South West Dorset Multi Cultural network, and Dorset Race Equality Council, in which they examine the experiences of Black and Minority Ethnic People living in West Dorset.

Lifestyles and Attitudes of residents from other countries (pdf, 373kb) (opens in a new window) is a report from our neighbouring authority of South Somerset on the experiences of migrant workers. Dorset also has migrant workers from the accession states, who may share similar experiences.

Gypsies and Travellers

Gypsy Traveller report May 2010 (pdf, 942kb) (opens in a new window) is a study of gypsy/traveller health needs.

Poorer health status and lower than average life expectancy among travellers is an important inequalities issue, and one that should be addressed. Its importance in the Kent area was clear from the many interested parties and wide-ranging views expressed by participants at a meeting on 'Travellers' access to GPs: Kent & E Sussex' hosted by the Kent County Council Gypsy and Traveller Unit in March 2009. Dorset has a large gypsy and traveller population, who may experience similar issues to those in Kent.

Gypsy Traveller factsheet (pdf, 220kb) (opens in a new window) is a myth busting factsheet, written by the South West Alliance of Nomads, commissioned Dorset Equality Partnership.

For more information, please visit our webpages on Gypsies and Travellers

Race and ethnicity reports

Religion and belief

For a philosophical belief to be protected under the Act it must be genuinely held and not an opinion or view point. It must also it must be a belief regarding a substantial aspect of human life and behaviour attaining a certain level seriousness, cohesion and importance. The belief must be worthy of respect in a democratic society, not incompatible with human dignity and not conflict with the fundamental rights of others. The law also protects people who have no religious belief, for example humanists or atheists.

Information and consultation

The Dorset Equalities Partnership commissioned a  Religion and belief factsheet (pdf, 4Mb) (opens in a new window) outlining an introduction into Faith, Religion and Belief.


Gender reports:

More information:

Sexual orientation

Information and consultation

The Dorset Equalities Partnership commissioned a  Sexual orientation factsheet (pdf, 3Mb) (opens in a new window) outlining an introduction into sexual orientation, being lesbian, gay, bisexual or heterosexual.

Gay and Grey report

Gay and Grey report (pdf, 593kb) (opens in a new window) - A research project into the needs, wants, fears and aspirations of older lesbians and gay men, focusing on the concerns of LGB people as they grow older, as in addition to declining health, strength, independence - there is an increased risk of social and emotional isolation by belonging to a minority group in society.

Pride, Progress and Transformation report

This report was commissioned by Equality South West to identify the real issues for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans people living, working and visiting the South West region. The reports have been separated into the following areas:

LGBT Reports

Other socially excluded groups

Information and consultation:

Further information

Dorset Statistics and census information including population, education, employment, health, housing and the environment.

Find out what consultations are happening amongst councils across Dorset.

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