Lawyer and disability rights campaigner Caroline Gooding has died aged 55 from breast cancer.
Gooding played a key role in bringing about the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) and later the Disability Rights Commission (DRC), after becoming disabled following a stroke while a student.
In 1996, she wrote Blackstone’s Guide to the DDA, and subsequently worked with the government to produce the first statutory code of practice on the DDA employment provisions.
In 1997, she co-founded and directed the DDA Representation and Advice Project, which selected cases for pro bono lawyers to take.
In 2000, Gooding joined the DRC as special adviser, where she led the drafting of the DDA statutory codes and campaigns to publicise the DDA and encourage good practice.
After studying social and political science at Cambridge, Gooding trained as a solicitor at the College of Law in London and joined a firm in Newcastle, qualifying in 1986.
Her trailblazing book Disabling Laws, Enabling Acts (1994) argued for a rights-based approach to disability in Britain, adding intellectual heft to the campaign for anti-discrimination legislation.
Gooding championed the obligation on public bodies to promote disability equality, chairing the Trade Union Disability Alliance for many years.
She remained involved in the Discrimination Law Association, of which she was vice-chair, and the Business Disability Forum.
Gooding was also active in promoting feminist, lesbian and gay, and anti-racist causes.