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Disability Smart

The University of Warwick's 2021 Disability Smart audit was awarded Bronze.

Disability Smart is a whole-organisation disability management audit developed by Business Disability Forum to help organisations measure and improve on performance for disabled customers, clients or service users, employees, and stakeholders.

Disability Smart covers ten key business areas:

  1. Leadership: You recognise the importance of disabled people to your business and the societies in which you operate. You promote your commitment to best practice internally and externally.
  2. Learning and development: You equip employees so that they understand your commitment to best practice and are confident interacting with disabled people, knowing what to do and how to do it.
  3. Workplace adjustments: You anticipate the needs of disabled people and have a robust process for making any reasonable adjustments which might be needed by individuals.
  4. Recruitment: You attract and recruit disabled people, with processes that enable you to access to the widest talent pool at every level.
  5. Retention: You value all your employees, including those who are disabled or become disabled, and are committed to their retention and development.
  6. Customers and service users: You value your disabled customers, clients and service users and address their needs when developing and delivering your products and services.
  7. Procurement: You expect your suppliers and corporate partners to reflect your values and enable you to meet your commitment to best practice.
  8. Communication: Your communication channels are accessible to disabled people, and whenever necessary you also make reasonable adjustments for individuals.
  9. Built environment: Your built environment is accessible to people with disabilities, and whenever necessary you also make reasonable adjustments for individuals.
  10. Technology: Your technology is accessible and usable by disabled people, and you also make reasonable adjustments for individuals.

We’re really proud to have received a Bronze award for our Disability Standard submission to the Business Disability Forum in 2021.

Thanks to the Disability Smart Steering Group, the Disability Taskforce, and all students and staff who contributed to the submission through their feedback and input.

“This gives us a great platform to continue to progress work to make Warwick an attractive place for disabled people. We’ve got a way to go but we can see what we’re doing well and what further action we need to take over the next year or so. Thanks to everyone who’s supporting this important agenda.”

Chris Ennew (Provost, Senior Disability Champion for Leadership, and Chair of the University’s Disability Smart Steering Group).

Click here for more about the Disability Smart Steering Group

The purpose of the Disability Smart Steering Group is:

  • To ensure that the University works towards meeting the criteria of the Disability Smart accreditation as set out in the Business Disability Forum Guidelines.
  • To ensure disabled persons perspectives are provided to the University on a range of issues relating directly to disability.
  • To recommend courses of action to the University that support the employment of disabled people.
  • To promote and improve understanding of disability issues that affect disabled persons.
  • Assist in bringing about positive changes for all those concerned in an interdependent way.

Read the Disability Smart Steering Group Terms of Reference for more detail.

The Steering Group is Chaired by the Provost, Chris Ennew. The membership is as follows:

  • Annie Davey - Head of Administration, Information and Digital Group.
  • Kathryn Fisher / Despina Weber - Head of Disability Services, Wellbeing Support Services.
  • Liz Gardner - Customer Services Manager, Library.
  • Brigitte Hatfield - Recruitment Manager, HR.
  • Michaela Hodges - Social Inclusion Officer, Social Inclusion (Secretary).
  • Alan Jephcott - Climbing Centre Manager, Warwick Sport.
  • John Phillips - Director of Health and Safety, Health and Safety.
  • Becca Randle - Audience Development Officer, Warwick Arts Centre.
  • Helen Thorne - Marketing Communications Manager, Engagement Group.
  • Jenny Wheeler - Accessibility Officer, Estates; Chair of Disability Taskforce; Co-Chair Disabled Staff Network.
  • Tim Wilkinson - Projects Officer, Information and Digital Group.