Who is defined as disabled?
There are many kinds of disabilities, some more widely understood and visible than others. Legally, under the Equality Act 2010, a person is likely to be considered disabled if they have a mental or physical impairment that has an adverse effect on their ability to carry out day-to-day activities. This effect must be:

  • Substantial: in other words, not minor or trivial. The person is still considered disabled if the effects of their impairment are alleviated or removed by ongoing treatments or aids.
  • Long-term: this is usually taken to mean that it has lasted, or is likely to last, for more than 12 months.

I have a disability – do I have to tell the University?
It is your choice whether you tell the University that you have a disability.

Telling us that you are disabled is particularly important if you might need any adjustments to carry out your job and if you have applied to Access to Work for their support. The University cannot offer support if they are unaware of your needs. In addition, telling us can also help the University to improve the way it works with disabled staff – for example this information can help us to assess the impact of University practices on disabled staff.

To disclose a disability please update your disability status on iTrent, this will trigger a process where you will be offered a consultation with an Occupational Health Adviser. 

What can the University do to assist me?
Reasonable adjustments are changes an employer makes to remove or reduce a disadvantage related to someone's disability. The Equality Act defines 'reasonable adjustments' as adjustments to:

  • Provisions, criteria or practices (the way things are done)
  • Physical features (the built environment)
  • Auxiliary aids (providing specialist equipment or services)

Some disabled people might not need or want adjustments, although this might change over time

If you require adjustments to your workplace because of a disability, a referral to Access to work is key in supporting your needs.

You can get help if

  • are disabled, have a mental health condition or have a long-term health condition that impacts on your ability to work; 
  • are aged 16 or over; and
  • live in England, Scotland or Wales - there’s a different system in Northern Ireland

A referral to Access to Work is often accompanied by a referral to Occupational Health and Wellbeing. This will support the implementation of any adjustments and recommendations within the workplace allows you to be supported by line managers and colleagues. Often there is a waiting list for Access to Work

Additional resources