Disability inclusion

We’re committed to enhancing the experiences of our staff and students who have a disability, so that we can all flourish.

Leavygreave Road with Jessop West in the background

We‘re building a supportive and inclusive culture around disability where our staff and students are listened to and feel supported, as we continue to work on improving access and navigating the barriers they may face.

As part of this work, we established a Disability Strategy Steering Group who have been focussed on establishing the needs and concerns of staff and students with physical disabilities, specific learning difficulties / learning differences (eg dyslexia), autism, mental health conditions, chronic health conditions and sensory impairments.

Most members of this group have a disability themselves and/or have responsibility for areas of work which include a focus on disability and inclusion.

The group has identified key themes and areas of focus that will be used to develop our University-wide Disability Inclusion Strategy Document.

In the new academic term, we will be sharing these themes and holding a wider consultation with staff and students to help shape this important piece of work. 

During the coronavirus pandemic, disabled staff and students shared their experiences directly related to Covid-19 and this has helped to engage them in the wider strategy work.

Through staff and student feedback the University has received valuable information enabling us to better support disabled staff and students at this time.

One area of work the group has been developing is a peer support and information network for staff with disabilities. This is an online community and confidential safe space, where staff with a disability are able to share their experiences and provide mutual peer support.

Staff members are able to bring forward ideas and raise concerns - which will feed into our wider work on disability and inclusion.

Our Deputy Vice-President for Education, Professor Brendan Stone is Chair of the Disability Strategy Steering Group, he is passionate about ensuring there are equal opportunities for staff and students across the Higher Education sector.

Taking a holistic, collegial and ambitious approach to disability equality and inclusion, the Disability Strategy Steering Group is currently working on the foundations for a disability inclusion strategy to develop and inform a University-level action plan. This will aim to bring about transformational change to address both the current and wider challenges experienced by staff and students with a disability, reduce differential outcomes in attainment and progression and ensure that our disabled staff and students are fully supported to flourish and meet their full potential.

Professor Brendan Stone

Chair of the Disability Strategy Steering Group and ​​​​​Interim Chair of the Disability Staff Network

The Disability Inclusion Strategy will aim to:

  • establish and meet the needs of disabled staff and students 

  • ensure that our disabled students and staff are fully supported to flourish and meet their full potential

  • remove barriers and level the playing field

  • create an open inclusive culture around disability

  • educate and empower our community, creating an institution of choice for people with disabilities 

  • reflect and learn from the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on our disabled staff and students and continue to develop best practice

  • recognise the intersectionality of disability and mental health

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