The Disability Discrimination Act (1995) [hereafter DDA] was introduced in order to improve access and opportunities for people with disabilities. Under the DDA it is unlawful to discriminate against a person with a disability. Additionally, organisations are required to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ so that people with disabilities can access employment and services. The new legislation, which is referred to as the Disability Equality Duty and is incorporated into the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 by means of the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 requires organisations to be proactive in promoting positive attitudes and disability equality. Part of the new legislation requires that all public bodies publish a Disability Equality Scheme which details the organisation’s plans for promoting disability equality.
This is the Academy’ first Disability Equality Scheme.
The scheme will aim to remove, wherever possible, any barriers that exist for disabled staff and students who try to access employment and education at the Academy of Forensic Medical Sciences.
In time, it is hoped that this scheme and successive schemes will enable the Academy to become a disability confident organisation in the area of employment to ensure that all current and potential employees are aware that they will be valued for the skills, attributes and experience that they bring to the organisation.
The diversity training that all staff at the Academy must undertake contains an element that concentrates on general disability equality issues. It is recognised, however, that more needs to be done in this area to promote disability equality. The new Disability Equality Duty requires that the Academy becomes proactive and actively promotes disability equality.
Support for students with disabilities and learning difficulties happens in a variety of ways. These are described below.
Our Admissions Policy states that all students will be judged primarily on academic merit and only after a decision whether or not to offer a place has been taken do we consider the implications of any disability. Any final offers of admission will be made after discussions with applicants about measures necessary to offset any disadvantage arising from a disability.
Student Services provide a comprehensive range of support for all students; some of the services provided will be of particular benefit to students with disabilities, ongoing medical conditions, mental health difficulties or learning difficulties.
It is expected that students will find the staff at the Academy committed to assisting students in whatever way they can. As well as providing assistance academic staff can be required to provide their course material in an accessible format. To streamline the process of placing academic material into accessible formats (e.g. Audio, large print etc).
The aim of an impact assessment is to examine policies and practice in a structured way to ensure that disproportionately adverse effects on particular groups, in this instance, disabled people, are avoided.
If you have any queries regarding the content of this document, or, if you would like to become involved with the disability equality agenda at the Academy, please contact: Professor P. Vanezis OBE at firstname.lastname@example.org