What do we mean by disability?
Under the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 (updated by Equality Act 2010) a disabled student may be a student with:
- specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD) including dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
- mental Health difficulties (including anxiety and depressive disorders, psychological and psychiatric illness)
- long term medical conditions such as arthritis, epilepsy, diabetes, asthma, chronic fatigue syndrome
- autistic Spectrum Disorders such as Asperger’s’ Syndrome
- sensory impairments
- neurological conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy
- mobility difficulties
A person can be defined as disabled if their physical or mental impairment:
- has a substantial effect on them
- is long term and has lasted or is expected to last 12 months or more
- has an adverse effect on his/her ability to carry out normal day to day activities
Sharing information and confidentiality
Many disabled people have impairments that are not visible, e.g. medical conditions or mental health issues. For a range of reasons, a student or a member of staff might share information with a staff member or a line manager, but ask that this information is kept confidential.
Due to the sensitive nature of information relating to disability issues, it is imperative that staff maintain appropriate levels of confidentiality. Staff should work with students and colleagues in accordance with the law as set out on The Data Protection Act 1998, and within existing University and professional bodies' policies and Codes of Practice. Students and staff need to feel that any information they give will be treated with respect and only made available to others if they (the student or colleague) have consented to sharing information or if there are exceptional circumstances which override confidentiality.
These exceptional circumstances can be summarized as:
- where the student or colleague represents a danger to the safety of others or causes them fear or severe distress or where the student or colleague is affecting the safety and well-being of people in general
- where the student or colleague actually attempts to seriously harm themselves or others, or is threatening to do so in the immediate future
- where the law or University policies requires certain information to be disclosed to others
Under the Single Equality Act, once a person has shared that they have an impairment that falls within the definition of disability under the Act, the University is deemed to have knowledge of this. The University then has a legal obligation to make any 'reasonable adjustment' necessary for that person to ensure that they are not disadvantaged.
Request not to share information
Making your documents accessible
The University of Bradford has a legal l responsibility under the Equality Act 2010 to ensure that electronic information is accessible to all. To gain further knowledge of the accessibility issues associated with online documents and to develop skills to create accessible documents, you may find the following documents useful:
Making your documents accessible guidelines
It is essential that disabled students get the reasonable adjustments they need and are entitled to while they are out on placement. This is to make sure that they have every opportunity to succeed and to make sure that they are not disadvantaged for disability related reasons.
Placement procedure guidelines
Placement procedure process map
Placement support agreement form
Request not to share information with placement
Health, Wellbeing and Fitness for Study
It is essential that the University adopts a pro-active and positive approach to promoting and managing the physical and mental health of our students. Where there are concerns about a student’s engagement, behaviours or academic performance that are a result of impairment, underlying health or mental health difficulty, it is important that we take consistent, co-ordinated and appropriate steps to support that student.