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The University of Southampton
Equality, Diversity and InclusionMeasuring EDI

Disability Confident

Disability Confident Leader
We're a Disability Confident Leader

The University of Southampton is a Disability Confident Leader. We were the first University accredited Disability Confident Leader, in 2017.

As a Disability Confident Leader, we are commited to disability equality and a positive approach towards disability, challenging negative attitudes and ensuring that all staff can achieve their potential.

The Department of Work and Pensions' (DWP) Disability Confident scheme replaced the 'Two Ticks' Postive about Disabled People scheme in 2017. Disability Confident is intended to help employers become more confident in recruiting and retaining disabled people and address the shortcoming of the 'Two Ticks' scheme, which was criticised for not setting rigorous standards for employers.

The scheme has three levels of commitment, each requiring additional commitment and evidence of action than the preceding level. The 'Leader' (level 3) commitment requires external validation of a self-assessment process, which identifies how an employer can further advance equality for disabled people.

What does this mean for me?

As part of our Disability Confident self-assesment, we produced an action plan for addressing the disability equality issues we identified in the University. Although this is not a DWP requirement, the comprehensive action plan will mean a co-ordinated approach addressing issues, such as:

  • continued improvements in the accessibility of the University’s physical and digital infrastructure
  • promoting better understanding of 'hidden' disabilities (e.g. epilepsy, neurodiversity, hearing and visual impairments)
  • promoting good practices (e.g. the University’s Mental Health First Aiders support service)
  • ensuring consistency of availability of support services across the University

How can I contribute to this work?

The Chair of the Disability Equality Steering Group is keen to hear from staff and welcomes individuals interested in disability equality to share experiences and good practice and have open discussions with everyone. Contact the team if you'd like to get in touch.

The UoS Disability Staff Network aims to promote discussions of disability-related issues. The Network meets regularly with its members and the Network Chair also sits on the Disability Equality Steering Group as well as other disability equality focused groups.

Last update: 26 February 2021 [AM]

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