It is unlawful to discriminate against disabled people, and since 2006 the legislation has required public bodies, including higher education institutions, to actively promote equality of opportunity for disabled people.
We are committed to the Social Model of Disability and recognise that the removal of the physical, emotional, social and attitudinal barriers that disable our students, staff and visitors is essential to progressing equality for disabled people.
The legislation includes a requirement to make reasonable adjustments if a disabled person would otherwise be placed at a substantial disadvantage. For students reasonable adjustments should be anticipatory.
The law around disability discrimination has been strengthened and extended by the Equality Act which came into force in October 2010. The Mental Health (Discrimination) Act 2013 removed barriers to public appointments including jury service. For changes to the legislation please see the briefing below:
Disability Legislation Briefing (DOCX, file size: 18.29KB) (available on-campus only)
Our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy 2018 -21 and accompanying objectives shows how we intend to promote disability equality. We monitor disability and report annually on progress in our Diversity Annual Report.
The UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled People establishes internationally recognised benchmarks for disabled people's rights in all areas of life. The UK government ratified the Convention in July 2009.
Disability History Month runs from 22 November until 22 December each year, while the International Day of Disabled People has been celebrated on 3 December since 1992.
AccessAble Access Guide to the University
This is an online guide giving details about access to Staffordshire University's buildings and venues. The guide has been produced by award winning organisation AccessAble, formerly DisabledGo, and is extremely detailed. It is aimed at empowering disabled people to make their own informed decisions based on their own access requirements.
Support for disabled students -AccessAbility Services aim to ensure that individual needs are met before starting a course, during a course of study and after graduation. A range of services are on offer including screening for dyslexia and support for mental wellbeing. AccessAbility Services at Stoke, on Leek Road, also houses the Regional Access Centre.
Careers - The Careers Centre offers a comprehensive service to disabled students looking for work.
Assistive Technology - AccessAbility Services works closely with Digital Services who provide a range of services, equipment and support for disabled students. Training for enabling technology is also available, tel. 01782 294977 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disability Coordinators - coordinating learning and teaching support for disabled students:
Finance - For general information on funding study, the DSA (Disabled Students Allowance) and other financial information for disabled people visit Disabled Students Allowance.
General support for disabled staff - You should initially talk to your line manager concerning any support needs you may have or adjustments that need to be made, including support for staff who have dyslexia. Human Resources and Organisational Development and Occupational Health may also be involved in advising and supporting you. Staff can also contact Equality and Diversity about disability issues and workplace adjustments.
Access to Work - This is a Government Scheme run by Jobcentre Plus. As well as giving advice and information to disabled people and employers, Jobcentre Plus pays a grant towards any extra employment costs that result from a person's disability. Access to Work now also covers those on work experience. HR will help with applications for reasonable adjustments through Access to Work.
Assistive Technology - Support for assistive technology and software is available through Information Services, or call 3800. They also have equipment for loan.
Flexible Working - If you think working more flexibly will help you manage your disability, or help you if you are caring for a disabled child or adult, please talk to your line manager or contact Human Resources and Organisational Development.
Employee Assistance Programme - Our EAP (Employee Assistance Programme), Right Management, offers a free and confidential helpline for all employees of the University run by Right Management, 0800 181 387.
Health and Safety
Health and Safety - for information on university H & S policies. PEEPs (Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans) should be discussed with your line manager at Induction.
HSE (Health and Safety Executive) - for general guidance on health and safety at work for disabled people.
NASDN - National Association of Disabled Staff Networks - a parent body of networks for disabled people working in HE.
Students who are carers should talk to their module or personal tutor, the Student Hub or the Students' Union for advice and support.
Staff who are carers should talk to their line manager, Human Resources and Organisational Development or Right Management, our Employee Assistance Programme for advice and support.
Sources of support of carers:
Carers Direct - information, advice and support for carers from the NHS
Changing Places - There are currently Changing Places toilets in Stoke Bus Station and the Potteries Shopping Centre in Hanley. Also in the main library in Newcastle-Under-Lyme and in the Jubilee2 Leisure Centre in Newcastle-Under-Lyme.
Employers for Carers - information on supporting carers at work.
Guidance for academic staff working with disabled students both within the University and at partner colleges, and also general information and resources to help staff make teaching, learning and assessment more inclusive and accessible, is available on our webpage - Inclusive Practice.
Also available is our 'toolkit' on inclusive practice - IncludeAll.
Organisations giving general advice and support
Business Disability Forum is an employers' organisation focused on disability as it affects business and aiming to make it easier to recruit and retain disabled employees and to serve disabled customers.
ODI (Office for Disability Issues)
Ouch! BBC website and discussion forum
Victim Support - national body giving free and confidential help to victims of crime
CACH (Chase Against Crimes of Hate) - hate crime and incidents in the Stafford area
Disability Solutions West Midlands - voluntary organisation based in Hartshill; working to remove barriers
LGBT and disabled? Email email@example.com, or telephone 01782 202611
Stafford and District Access Group - working towards improved access in the Borough of Stafford
Advice and support on specific areas of disability
Autism and Asperger Syndrome:
Lifeworks Staffordshire - supporting high-functioning individuals aged 14 plus with Autistic Spectrum Conditions (ASC)
National Autistic Society (NAS) - general information on Autism and Asperger's Syndrome and information on the Adult Autism strategy and the autism Act 2009
Changes - Staffordshire Mental health and Wellbeing - for people experiencing mental distress
Chinese Mental Health Association - specialises in providing community based mental health assistance and support to the Chinese community in the United Kingdom
Muslim Youth Helpline - registered charity providing culturally sensitive services, including mental heath advice, to Muslim youth in the UK
Rethink Mental Illness - helpline 03005 000927
Staffordshire Mental Health - local information on mental health issues; free, confidential helpline Tel: 0808 800 2234
Students Against Depression - support for students with depression, low mood or suicidal thoughts
Time to Change - campaign to end mental health discrimination and the stigma around mental health
Action on Hearing Loss (formerly Royal National Institute for the Deaf)
Deaf unity - portal for supporting deaf communities worldwide
RNIB (Royal National Institute for the Blind) - supporting blind and partially sighted people.
Signstation - learn more about BSL (British Sign Language), deafness and d/Deaf people; BSL demonstrated
Accessibility - General Information
Guidance to ensure all documents are accessible (DOCX, file size: 20.35KB)
Accessible pdf from Word - guidelines from Adobe (PDF, file size: 940.64KB)
- Accessible Events: A Good Practice Guide for Staff Organising Events in HE (JISC TechDis) (PDF, file size: 138.18KB)
- AbilityNet - My Computer, My Way - national charity helping disabled people to use computers and the internet by adopting and adjusting their technology.
Definition of Disability
The law defines disability as a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long term adverse effect on a person's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. Long-term usually means 12 months or more but many are from the time of diagnosis.
Medical conditions such as asthma and diabetes are covered, as are fluctuating or progressive conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or motor neurone disease. Mental impairment includes mental health conditions such as bipolar or depression, learning difficulties such as dyslexia and autism. Cancer, multiple sclerosis and HIV/Aids are covered, as well as severe disfigurement.