Information Services


Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)

Why does EDI matter?

The Equality Act 2010 legally protects staff and students from discrimination, and it covers the 'protected characteristics' below.

Equality Act 2010: protected characteristics

  • age
  • disability
  • gender reassignment
  • marriage & civil partnership
  • pregnancy & maternity
  • race
  • religion & belief
  • sex
  • sexual orientation.

We (the IS Equality, Diversity and Inclusion group) also focus on part time and distance learners and people with dependants.

We want to embed inclusive design practices in all that we do.

As much as possible, we want to go beyond legal obligations. With inclusive design, everyone benefits. Special arrangements for particular groups aren't needed.

IS Equality Diversity and Inclusivity Group: IS EDIG

We meet termly to come up with ways to improve our support for EDI. We manage an evolving action plan which is formally reviewed annually.

What we're doing

Our current and previous action plans:

More about IS-EDIG

Our group was established to proactively support and advance the Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity (EDI) agenda within IS and to support the University’s institutional strategic plan. We are committed to providing equality of access, resources, and support to students and staff in line with University policy.

IS EDI strategy

Information Services at the University of Kent is committed to providing equality of access, resources, and support to all students and staff in line with the University’s Equality and Diversity policies.

The Equality Act 2010 requires that all members of University staff can participate fully in all aspects of institutional life and that all students within higher education are treated as an integral part of the academic community. This strategy aims to cover all nine protected characteristics from the Act: Age, Disability, Gender reassignment, Marriage and Civil partnership, Pregnancy and Maternity, Race, Religion or belief, Sexual orientation and Sex.

This document also applies to part-time and distance learners and library users with dependants, where they are not covered under other protected characteristics.


This strategy relates to all members of the University (students and staff) and other users of IS facilities and services according to their access rights.


Our mission is to champion the embedding of equality, diversity and inclusion into all aspects of Information Services culture and provision, including the physical environment, resource provision, support services and staff awareness.

Strategic aims

Information Services aims to:

  1. Ensure that the environment managed by Information Services is not a barrier to its use by users through the provision of specialised facilities, equipment, furniture and technologies, where appropriate.
  2. Design services and spaces to maximise access to all our resources for all our users.
  3. Develop easily accessible support and training, using appropriate delivery mechanisms for all staff and users.
  4. Ensure that all users are aware of the facilities, services and support made available by Information Services and have clear mechanisms to feedback where services are not available.
  5. Ensure that Information Services’ staff have the necessary knowledge and skills to support all users and provide effective delivery of services.
  6. Collaborate with service providers and specialist organisations both inside and outside the University to keep up-to-date and ensure good practice.
  7. Monitor the effectiveness of support services to ensure value for money is achieved and to identify where improvements can be made in line with the equality and diversity policies of the university.


This strategy will be reviewed on an annual basis to ensure that the strategic aims and objectives continue to appropriately support staff, students and visitors


1. Physical environment
a. Provide specialised facilities, equipment, furniture and technologies in accordance with funding available and where appropriate.
b. Provide clear definitions of services and facilities for all users.
c. Prioritise procedures for early identification of special access user requirements

2. Online resources and services
a. Make specialist software available via the network or on dedicated equipment as appropriate.
b. Ensure that online resources and services are accessible and meet legal requirements and agreed standards, and reasonable adjustments are made where this is not possible.
c. Ensure that all pages on our websites achieve W3C WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Level A conformance and should achieve Level AA conformance where possible.

3. Support and training
a. Provide one-to-one advice and guidance in the use of IS resources and services to assist users with disabilities who seek advice either in person or through other agencies within the university.
b. Provide individual inductions to IS buildings, resources and services for students on demand with Inclusive Learning Plans or where referred from Student Support and Wellbeing.
c. Develop easily accessible training in IT, library and information skills for all users, using appropriate delivery mechanisms.

4. User awareness
a. Raise awareness among all Information Services’ users of the alternative provisions it makes for students and staff.
b. Provide information in a range of formats describing in detail the facilities, services, equipment and resources which are available.

5. Staff development
a. Put training programmes in place so that IS staff have the necessary skills to provide an appropriate response to an enquiry or to a request for special assistance.
b. Send staff to key conferences and workshops on equality and inclusion provision in the HE sector.
c. Encourage staff to visit other universities to view equality and inclusion provision and good practice as well as acknowledging and highlighting good practice within IS.

6. Collaboration
a. Work closely with the University’s Equality and Diversity Team, Student Support and Wellbeing, Occupational Health Service and Health and Safety Teams, as appropriate.
b. Contribute to the development of the University’s Equality and Diversity policies.
c. Share good practice with other departments within the University, such as Student Support and Wellbeing, HR, academic schools, service departments and Kent Hospitality in relation to the wider provision of special facilities and services.
d. Maintain links with, and seek advice from, national bodies such as RNIB.

7. Monitoring
a. Consult all user groups on their requirements.
b. Use annual satisfaction or targeted surveys to provide feedback on equality support provision.
c. Consult IS staff on their experience of the effectiveness of special provision.
d. Conduct an annual review of IS facilities and services to support maximum accessibility and provision.
e. Maintain the IS Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Group (IS-EDIG) and its representative membership (including student representation), which reports to, and advises, the IS Senior Management Team.

Staff training: how much do you know about EDI?


Library and IT disability access guides



Information Services, University of Kent

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Last Updated: 02/04/2019