As part of a one year pilot (2016/17), the University has subscribed to become a member of the Business Disability Forum (BDF). BDF is a not-for-profit member organisation which provides a unique range of advice, support and expert tools to help organisations become disability-smart. BDF has more than twenty years experience of working with public and private sector organisations.
As a member of staff at the University of Kent, you are able to access some BDF rescources for your learning and information. To do so, please click on the 'BDF Resources' tab below.
The Disability Staff Network at the University was established in 2012 and is open to any member of staff with a disability or anyone who feels they would benefit from attending, perhaps because of the nature of their job role. The Disability Staff Network's purpose is to support disabled staff and those staff working with disability, or those with an interest in disability. The network also provides a forum to share information and consider good practice, providing recommendations to enhance University policy and practice where appropriate.
From January 2017: Please note that the Department for Work and Pensions have launched a new scheme, Disability Confident, to replace the Disability 2 Ticks scheme. The University is currently reviewing its approach to Disability Confident and more information will be provided at a later date. Disability 2 Ticks ceased to exist from January 2017, but you can read about the scheme via the tab below. The University is maintaining its commitment to the Two Ticks scheme whilst the approach to Disability Confident is being determined.
Please take a look at the tabs below to look through toolkits, resources and signposting to further information. You can also access e-guidance modules (BDF Resources) and view some video clips (EDI TV) around disability.
Type of Disability
In the UK, half a million adults are thought to have an Autistic Spectrum Condition. They may have difficulties with:
- understanding the feelings of others
- meeting new people
People with an Autism Spectrum Condition may also have high levels of accuracy, attention to detail and a good memory for figures.
- Watch George Watts's (a University of Kent Postgraduate student) 'Talking in Pictures' film challenging stereotypes of autism.
- Autism in the workplace TUC Publications (2014)
The following links are recommended by The National Autistic Society:
About 10% of the UK population are thought to be affected by dyslexia. It affects many more men than women. People with dyslexia have difficulties with reading, writing and spelling. They may struggle with tasks such as:
- writing or structuring documents
- remembering instructions
- note taking
Potential strengths of people with dyslexia include creative and innovative thinking and good communication skills.
Support for an individual with dyslexia may include
- providing text-to-speech or speech-to-text software
- allowing meetings or training events to be recorded
- giving instructions verbally
- providing written information on coloured paper
- British Dyslexia Association
- Dyslexia Action
- University of Kent Assistive Technology
- University of Kent Accessibility Guidance for Staff
- British Dyslexia Association Guide. Supporting Dyslexics with general difficulties
- British Dyslexia Association Guide. Supporting Dyslexics with planning and time management
- British Dyslexia Association Guide. Supporting Dyslexics with verbal communication
- British Dyslexia Association Guide. Supporting Dyslexics with written communication
- British Dyslexia Association Guide. A guide to creating dyslexia friendly resources
- Dyslexia Action. What is Dyslexia - Fact Sheet
- Dyslexia Action Guide. Dyslexia in the Workplace
Someone with a hearing impairment may have:
- partial or complete hearing loss
- had their impairment from birth or it may have increased gradually over time
- a temporary or permanent impairment
The proportion of people with a hearing impairment who are in work is below the national average. However, there are many people with a hearing impairment who are in work and even more who would like the opportunity to be in work.
Adjustments for an employee with a hearing impairment could include:
- providing information in accessible formats
- seating an employee in a quiet area, away from distracting noises
- using adapted telephones with adjustable volumes and lights
- Action on Hearing Loss Communication tips practical Guide
- Action on Hearing Loss Guide Telephones and Voice communications
- Action on Hearing Loss Guide to Hearing loop and infrared systems
- Action on Hearing Loss Guide to Listenining equipment
- Action on Hearing Loss Guide to Using communication support
- Action on Hearing Loss Training Resource for Learning basic British Sign Language
Mental Health conditions cover a wide range of illnesses which can affect how people feel, think and behave. They can include:
- bipolar disorder
According to the Mental Health Foundation, 1 in 4 people experience a problem with their mental health every year.
A physical impairment is one which limits a person’s ability to do physical activity such as walking. These impairments may be as a result of:
- cerebral palsy
- muscular dystrophy
- multiple sclerosis
Some physical impairments may not be visible such as epilepsy or respiratory disorders.
Many people with physical impairments have mobility aids to assist them. You may only need to take a few simple steps to ensure an employee with a physical impairment can fulfil their potential at work.
Adjustments for a physically impaired employee include:
- providing assistive computer equipment such as modifications to hardware or voice activated software
- agreeing an emergency evacuation procedure with them if they require assistance
- making sure that the layout of the working environment is accessible and free from obstructions
Stammering (also called stuttering) is a speech/fluency difficulty where the person has speech blocks (getting stuck on one sound; a silent block is when nothing comes out at all), prolongations (stretching sounds out), or repetitions of sounds
It is individual. Each person stammers differently, and this can vary from one day or situation to another. The person may also avoid words and situations because of anxiety and strong feelings about their stammering
It does not result from a personality or intellectual disorder. People who stammer have normal intelligence, competence and ability People who stammer know what they want to say but sometimes find it difficult to physically produce speech.
There are almost 80,000 registered blind and partially sighted people of working age in the UK (not including conditions which can be corrected by glasses or contact lenses). The majority have some useful vision. They represent a huge pool of potential employees.
Advances in technology mean that blind and partially sighted people can now overcome many of the barriers to work that they faced in the past. With the right training, skills and experience a blind or partially sighted person can do just about any job. Just like any other worker, they will need the right tools to do the job, for example additional tools that reduce or eliminate the need for eyesight.
Adjustments for a blind or partially sighted employee include:
- offering additional training about visual impairments for other colleagues
- making alterations to the working environment
- supplying documents in audio or Braille formats
- carrying out a risk assessment of the workplace
- arranging a tour of the workplace
- providing software or technology that magnifies onscreen text and images or converts text to sound
- Royal National Institute of Blind People
- Blind in Business
- Action for Blind People
- The Partially Sighted Society
- DeafBlind UK