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Support for staff who have Disabilities

Under the Equality act 2010 those who may identify as disabled include:

  • A specific learning Difference (SpLD) like dyslexia
  • Physical and sensory impairments
  • Long term health conditions and mental health conditions, this could include illnesses like cancer but also if you have long term depression
  • Neurodiversity or autism

There may be a range of support available either from access to work or in the form of reasonable adjustments from your employer.

Speak to your line manager

  • They are responsible for discussing any reasonable adjustments with you and supporting you to put these in place.
  • Reasonable adjustments could be specific equipment, flexibility in your working schedule or adapting certain tasks so that you can work efficiently.

Apply for access to work

  • You may be eligible for support with travel or equipment or human support may be approved and funded, for example if you need an interpreter to effectively do your job if you are deaf. A job coach, mentor or admin support might be additional support you are awarded if you have any neurological difficulties or Learning Differences, these are just some examples.
  • Companies like generate and able futures can be the providers of such support and can also provide advice and guidance on access to work and reasonable adjustments.

Submit evidence

  • It is likely your employer will ask for some evidence and information about your disability. If medical, you could ask your doctor or specialist to confirm your diagnosis and any impact this has on your day-to-day life. This information is helpful for your employer to know so they can then discuss with you what might support with the impact and then make reasonable adjustments.

Guidance for Staff

If you think you may have a disability then you could discuss that with your line manager but also your doctor.

  • Mental health: speak to your doctor and if it has or is likely to affect you for 6 months or longer then your doctor can write a letter to confirm this
  • Neurodiversity: it is a lengthy process to get a diagnosis for autism or ADHD but please speak to your GP or ask for a screening and to be referred to a specialist. This online service offers some more info about getting a diagnosis of ADHD
  • Specific Learning Differences (SpLD) for dyslexia you can do this simple checklist which can show indicators, then you could go for a full diagnostic assessment with an Educational psychologist or Specialist Teacher, again speak to your line manager to see if there is funding for this and to find out where you could go

You do not have to disclose your disability. If you do disclose to your manager, it does not mean that this would be shared with others. They should ask for your consent before sharing this information onwards, however be very clear if you do not wish others to know about your disability.

  • The positive to disclosing is that your manager must ensure you have the right reasonable adjustments in place. These are likely to enhance your performance.
  • You can disclose at any point in the application stage and during your employment.
  • Many staff do not want to identify as being disabled, especially due to the stigma that can be associated, however by having the right tools and/or equipment you can do your job to the best of your ability.
  • Being open about disability educates others and normalises it. So many people have disabilities of some kind. The more routine adjustments there are the more we work towards an inclusive environment.