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Disability is one of the protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010. The Act aims to protect people from direct and indirect discrimination, harassment, and victimisation on the basis of disability.

Read the University's Disability Strategy Statement to find out about the work we're doing on disability equality and accessibility.

Find support, initatives, and guidance relating to disability here.


Definition of 'Disability' in the Equality Act

Under the Equality Act, a person has a disability if they have a "physical or mental impairment" which "has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on [their] ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities".

The Act includes additional explanation of these terms:

  • 'Substantial' means more than minor or trivial.
  • 'Long-term' means that the effect of the impairment has lasted or is likely to last for at least twelve months.
  • 'Normal day-to-day activities' include everyday things like eating, washing, walking, and going shopping.

It is important to remember that not all disabilities are visible.


Duty to Make Adjustments

The Equality Act also places on public bodies, including the University, a duty to take such steps as are reasonable to provide adjustments or aids if a disabled person is substantially disadvantaged by any of the following:

  • A provision, criterion, or practice.
  • A physical feature of the premises.
  • The absence of an auxiliary aid or service.

The aim of this duty is to ensure that disabled people can access a service or workplace at as close to the same standard as non-disabled people would receive as it is possible to achieve.

The duty is 'anticipatory' meaning that public bodies, including the University, must be ready to comply with this duty at any time i.e. the University is not expected to anticipate the needs of every prospective staff member, but we are required to consider and take reasonable and proportionate steps to overcome barriers that may impede people with different kinds of disabilities.

If you, or someone you line manage, require workplace adjustments My Adjustment Passport will guide you through the implementation process.

Photo by Marcus Aurelius from Pexels. Colour filter added to original.

You may also be interested in:

Support, initiatives, and guidance relating to disability

Staff Networks - including Disabled Staff Network

Taskforces and SIC - including Disability Taskforce

Policies - including Disability and Mental Health Policy

Initiatives - including our booklet 'The Most Important Things People Want You To Know About Disability & Caring'

Training and Learning

Charters - including Disability Standard