Policy for Disability Equality

1. Introduction

1.1
Brunel University is committed to the principles of promoting disability equality, and preventing and eliminating disability discrimination in employment. It will endeavour to ensure that no applicant for employment or study, member of staff or student is disadvantaged or discriminated against unlawfully on the grounds of disability.
1.2 As part of a wider commitment to equal opportunities generally, Brunel University confirms its commitment to promoting and improving opportunities for disabled staff and students. The University is working towards ensuring that disabled staff and students realise their potential and, therefore endorses good practice with regard to improving access to and progress within the University.
2. Intent and Purpose for the Prevention of Disability Discrimination and Promotion of Disability Equality
2.1 The University aims to achieve this objective by actively monitoring and reviewing University processes and procedures at all levels, at regular intervals as detailed in the Statement of Intent and Purpose for Equal Opportunities and the Disability Equality Scheme (DDA 2005). The results will enable the University to focus on the development and promotion of a range of disability equality issues, including Positive Action initiatives via the Diversity Action Plan.
3. The Disability Discrimination Act 2005
3.1 In addition to the provisions contained in the Statement of Intent and Purpose for Equal Opportunities, the following, including the University Disability Equality Scheme will be incorporated into the formal arrangements for meeting the General and Specific duties of the Disability Discrimination Act 2005.
3.2 General and Specific Duties
The Disability Discrimination Act 2005 places a statutory duty on public authorities, including higher education, to promote disability equality, by way of meeting the General and Specific Duties requirements as outlined below:

General Duty
The aim of the General Duty is:
  • To eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment
  • To promote equality of opportunity between disabled persons and other persons
  • To promote positive attitudes towards disabled persons
  • To encourage participation by disabled persons in public life

To comply with the Act, the requirement is that these principles are to be permeated throughout the University's policies, practices and procedures.

Specific Duties

To ensure compliance to the General Duty the specific duty for the higher education sector is to:

  • Produce a Disability Equality Scheme to demonstrate how the University will bring about cultural change and fulfil its obligations under General Duty.
4. Promoting Disability Equality
4.1 Strategy and Policy
The Equal Opportunities and Human Resources Committee is responsible for the development of an employment strategy and for the promotion of disability equality in employment within the University in consultation with trade unions, staff and the wider community.
4.2 Senate is responsible for the development of a strategy and for the promotion of disability equality in student life within the University in consultation with students, the student union and the wider community.
4.2 Publications and Advertising

The University's commitment to disability equality will be displayed and publicised throughout the University in a number of ways:
4.3 All job advertisements will contain:

"Committed to Equal Opportunities and representing the diversity of the Community we serve"

and

The Positive about Disabled People, two tick symbol.

or a phrase outlining the University's commitment to the disability symbol.

Positive about Disability

4.4 Information issued to job applicants will contain the process that can be taken in order to assess the suitability of the University environment in terms of access and support for the purpose of employment.
4.5 Information relating to disability equality will be regularly updated on the University's Disability and Dyslexia Service web pages and the staff Equal Opportunities intranet pages.
4.6 Regular articles on equal opportunities issues which include disability equality will be produced in Brunel News and other relevant publications.
4.7 The Disability and Dyslexia Service in conjunction with the Staff Development team will deliver a range of briefing presentations on disability legislation and other related matters so that awareness is raised and responsibilities of departments and individuals are understood.
5 Induction and Training Programmes
5.1 The University's staff training and management development training programmes will contain a range of training opportunities relating to the elimination and prevention of disability discrimination and promotion of disability awareness.
5.2 Staff and student induction programmes will contain an equal opportunities module, which will include disability equality matters pertaining to promoting better understanding and awareness of disability equality including harassment and discrimination.
5.3 Management Development programmes will incorporate programmes on; decision making in terms of ensuring consistency and equality in recruitment and selection, selection for promotion, harassment and discrimination and grievance handling. Brunel University
6 Post Graduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning
6.1 It is a condition of employment that all new members of academic staff appointed by the University on Lecturer A/B contracts of 50% or more, whose duties require them to teach or supervise students, should undertake and complete formal training leading to the award of the Post Graduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Equal opportunities incorporating disability awareness in study and learning are encapsulated within the mainstream course programmes.
6.2 Lecturers (including researchers) are encouraged to explore the academic contributions and research achievements of disabled scholars and where relevant to incorporate their accomplishments within their teaching and research activities.
7 Preventing Disability Discrimination
7.1

In order to achieve an environment that is free from unlawful disability discrimination and which encourages everyone to contribute fully to the work of the Institution the University will endeavour to ensure that:

  • It develops and continually reviews its Disability Equality Scheme.

  • It maintains the Disability Symbol awarded by Jobcentre Plus to demonstrate the University's commitment in the recruitment, employment, retention and career development of disabled people.

  • Staff and students are encouraged to participate in Access and Disability Focus Groups to advise the University on issues that are or may affect the environment in which they work and study.

  • Employment vacancies are accessible to disabled groups and organisations within the community through a variety of media.

  • The collation of statistical information regarding the movement and profile of disabled staff and students will be collated and published. This information will provide details of issues that require further review and will assist in the development of the University's Diversity Action Plan, Disability Equality Scheme, Positive Action initiatives and staff development.

  • Staff, students and applicants are made aware of the University's Disability Equality Policy and its commitments to the Disability Symbol (employment).

  • Staff and student procedures provide equal opportunities and are free from unlawful disability discrimination.

  • There is compliance to the anti-discrimination provisions as required by the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001 and subsequent amendments.

  • Community participation from within the University and externally will be sought and encouraged in the development of disability awareness initiatives. This will include staff development programmes and positive action initiatives.

  • Diversity Action Plans for staff and students are developed and reviewed which will be the base from which positive action initiatives are developed.

  • The Disability and Dyslexia Service will work with placement and other service providers to ensure that they act in a non-discriminatory manner and make appropriate adjustments to meet the needs of disabled students - this includes paying due regard to professional “fitness to practice" issues.
8 Grievance and Discipline
8.1 The University will regard any breach of the Statement of Intent and Purpose for Equal Opportunities (including the Policy for Disability Equality) by any employee(s) or student(s) as a serious matter and will be dealt with effectively through its agreed procedures and may result in disciplinary action.
Brunel University
Statement of Intent and Purpose for Equal Opportunities

Page last updated: Monday 20 September 2010