Disability Equality Scheme Meeting by HC12091104816


Disability Equality Scheme
If you require information contained in this document in an alternative
format, such as large print, Braille or audio tape contact:

Sara Burgess
Head of Student Services
Student Centre
University of Bolton
Deane Road

Telephone: 01204 903482
Email: s.e.burgess@bolton.ac.uk

Contents:                                                    Page

1. Introduction                                              3

2. The Specific Duties                                       3

3. Disability Statement                                      4

4. Social Model of Disability                                5

5. Involvement of disabled people in developing the scheme   6

6. Legal Framework                                           10

7. Responsibility of implementation                          12

       7.1 Collective and Institutional                      12
       7.2 Individual responsibility                         13

8. Description of Current Approach                           14

       8.1 Student Centre                                    14
       8.2 Academic Projects                                 18
       8.3 Learning Support and Development                  19
       8.4 Staff                                             22
       8.5 Estates                                           25
       8.6 Finance, Procurement and Purchasing               26

9. Current Good Practice – External Validation               26

10. Data Collection                                          27
      10.1 Benchmark data for disabled staff                 27
      10.2 Benchmark data for disabled students              28

11. Impact Assessment                                        28

12. Monitoring, Evaluation and Review                        29

13. Publication of Outcomes                                  29

14. Action Plan                                              31

15. Appendices                                               39

       Appendix 1 Impact Assessment Process                  39

1.       Introduction

         The University is committed to taking positive steps to eliminate
         discrimination in its policies, practices and procedures and this intention
         underpins the University’s Equal Opportunities Policy.

         The Disability Equality Scheme is designed to assist managers to review
         their services and to remove barriers to disabled people. These barriers
         may be attitudinal, informational, environmental, organisational or cultural.

         The Disability Discrimination Act 2005 has amended the Disability
         Discrimination Act 1995 so that it now places a duty on all public
         authorities to:

        promote equality of opportunity between disabled persons and other
        eliminate discrimination that is unlawful under the Act;
        eliminate harassment of disabled persons that is related to their
        promote positive attitudes towards disabled persons;
        be pro-active in taking account of disabled person’s disabilities, even
         where that involves treating disabled persons more favourably than other

         The duty places positive responsibilities on us to work towards a more
         equal society by mainstreaming disability equality into the way in which we
         carry out our functions.

         The duty has two elements, a General Duty (see above) and Specific
         Duties which are intended to assist public authorities in meeting the
         general duty.

2.       The Specific Duties

         The DES is required to include statements on:

        How disabled people have been involved in the DES development;
        How the University intends to impact assess its policies, procedure and
        How the University proposes to meet its General Duty within a 3-year
        How the University consults with disabled service users on the effect of
         policies, procedures and practices;
        How recruitment, development and retention affects disabled people;
        How the provision of services take account of disabled people;

        How the University makes use of information to assist in meeting its
        How it intends to review the effectiveness of the scheme’s implementation
        How it intends to publish an annual report to include those steps taken as
         a result of information gathered.

3.       Disability Statement

         At the University of Bolton we are committed to the promotion of equality,
         diversity and a supportive environment for all. For the purposes of this
         statement disability is understood in the broadest sense including physical
         and sensory impairments, mental health issues, medical conditions and
         specific learning difficulties which have an impact on day to day activities.

         We aim to:

        Anticipate the needs of disabled staff and students.

        Recognise the particular contribution to achievement of the University's
         mission made by individuals with a wide range of backgrounds and

        Foster independent learning through comprehensive student support
         whilst creating an environment in which students feel they can declare
         their support requirements.

        Maximise our capacity to create career opportunities for disabled people in
         which they are in no way disadvantaged in comparison with their peers
         and colleagues.

         By ensuring that:

        Applications for admission from potential students are assessed on the
         basis of the applicant’s aptitudes, abilities and qualifications.

        Disabled candidates who meet the essential criteria for job vacancies are
         automatically invited for interview and considered on their abilities.

        Students and staff have access to the appropriate support and
         adaptations to enable them to be fully included in the life of the University.

        The views of the disabled student and staff are taken into account at all
         times when their requirements are being assessed or discussed.

        With the individual’s consent, staff have the relevant information to offer
         their full support.

        We provide staff working with disabled students and staff with the
         necessary support and development opportunities.

        We support students and staff who become disabled during their time at
         the University to continue in their chosen course of study or stay in

        We consult widely and regularly with student and staff representatives in
         addition to external organisations and use this information to further
         improve and develop our support services.

        We train all staff in order to improve their understanding of the impact of
         disability on students, colleagues and members of the public and how they
         can act to minimise it.

        We work to improve the accessibility of our physical environment.

4.       Social Model of Disability

         The University of Bolton will use the ‘social’ model of disability. In the past
         much of our understanding of disability used a ‘medical’ model. Issues and
         solutions tended to focus around the idea of curing the individual or
         making them ‘better’.

         The social model approaches disability from the viewpoint that what
         ‘disables’ the individual is social structures, barriers and attitudes not the
         person’s impairment or medical condition.

         The University will no longer use the traditional approach based on what a
         disabled person cannot do and instead will focus on what they can do.
         Following the social model should result in a better environment for all
         service users and the entire community and better access for disabled and
         service users generally.

         The University of Bolton has developed a Disability Equality Scheme to
         help us to achieve a number of things:

        to carry out equality impact assessments on existing policies, practices
         and procedures to identify where action needs to be taken to make
         improvements or changes, and to promote equality of opportunity for
         disabled people;
        to make sure that we are taking the needs and views of disabled people
         into account when, for example, we design and deliver services, make
         access improvements or develop policies;

        to continuously monitor and improve the ways in which we deliver services
         to disabled people;
        to ensure that there are resources and support available to deliver our
         Disability Equality Scheme’s core priorities.

5.       Involvement of disabled people in developing the scheme.

         The University is committed to working in partnership with the disabled
         community in the development, implementation and ongoing review of its
         DES. In broad categories our community consists of:

        Students and potential students
        Staff and potential staff
        Contractors
        External contacts and stakeholders
        Visitors and members of the public

         To date communication and involvement has focussed on identifying what
         is working well, what is not working well, where there are barriers to equal
         opportunities and access, and where there are gaps.

         The University’s principal vehicle for consultation on matters relating to
         Equality of Opportunity, including disability, is the Equal Opportunities
         Steering Group. This is responsible for ensuring that corporate objectives
         relating to equal opportunities are set and met. It is responsible to the
         Executive Board for the creation of policies and for pursuing and
         monitoring these policies.

         The Equal Opportunities Steering Group is currently chaired by the
         Director of Human Resources and membership of the group includes the
         trade unions, President of the Students’ Union and the chairs of the
         promotion/project groups. Only one member of this group has a declared
         disability, however, the Disability Promotion Group represents the view of
         those disabled members of staff and students who are either members of
         Joining Up Disability or Project Enable or who contribute to these groups
         through the various service user groups.

         The structure of the Steering Group is outlined below:

                                       Board of

                          Academic                      Executive
                          Board                         Team

                                       Equal Opps
                                       Steering Group

         Age Chair
                      Race           Disability     Gender &        Student
                      Equality       Chair          Sexual          Experience
                      Chair                         Orientation     Attainment
                                                    Chair           Chair

The Disability Promotion Group reports to the Equal Opportunities Steering
Group on progress of its other sub-groups. These sub-groups are demonstrated
in the following structure:

                   Disability Promotion Group

    Disability          Joining up              Project Enable
    Equality            Disability Group        Group
    Scheme                                      (Disability
    Steering                                    Partnership)

    In addition to the Disability Promotion Group within the Equal
    Opportunities Steering Group, the University has a well established focus
    group for students and staff, the Joining Up Disability Group. This meets
    once per term to contribute and advise on good practice.

    The purpose of the group is to foster inclusion for disabled students and
    staff throughout the University community by:

   contributing to the formulation of strategy
   preparing draft policy documents for discussion or commenting on policy
   acting as a consultative forum for estates issues
   advising on resource allocation
   promoting awareness of the needs of disabled students and staff
   implementing practical ideas for delivering the above

     Membership is available to any staff or students who have an interest in
    this area and wish to contribute ideas to promote good practice.

    The University has established a Disability Partnership with - Bolton
    Council, Royal Bolton NHS Trust, Bolton Primary Care Trust, and Bolton
    Community College to consult with the local community through the
    Disability Consultative forum on making Bolton a better place to live and
    work as part of the University’s Project Enable initiative. The first joint
    consultation event with the community entitled the Better Bolton Café took
    place on 21 July 2006. Feedback from this event will be delivered in a

    report and the first feedback session took place on 20 October 2006 with
    the local community.

    This involvement of the disabled community is engagement with groups of
    disabled people not organisations for disabled people. Membership
    embraces the full spectrum of disability such as backcare, osteoporosis,
    hearing and visual sensory impairments, mental health patient group in
    addition to members of the public who are disabled. An audit of local
    groups will be made to ensure that they fully reflect all disabilities. Those
    organisations that work closely with the University such as Mayflower,
    Shaw Trust, and Remploy are invited to attend these communal events.
    Outcomes from this involvement has been included in our action plan.

    An outcome of this involvement is the movement to set up an independent
    organisation of disabled people to form a core group acting as a
    pressure/lobby group for local services. The group will call themselves the
    Disability Action Group with leadership by disabled people rather than
    those agencies named above. It is anticipated that the above named
    agencies will be extended to include the Greater Manchester Police,
    Greater Manchester Transport and Bolton at Home/community housing.
    These agencies will be invited to make a contribution of funds to pay for
    an administrator who could provide administration for meeting, web pages
    and payment of transport and support mechanisms to enable the disabled
    community to contribute to and attend these meetings on a regular basis
    wherever possible.

    The University held its first Celebrating Diversity Week during the week
    commencing 30 October 2006. This event was for both staff and students
    to participate in. The Equal Opportunities Steering Group promotion
    action groups all had displays with promotional and information material
    and the Disability promotion group contributed to this event. Next year
    and in subsequent years, this Celebrating Diversity Week will provide an
    additional vehicle to not only promote but to actively involve disabled
    people and acknowledge the contribution that they bring to the University’s

    A wide range of local disabled groups and people will be directly involved
    in the development of this Disability Equality Scheme.

   Students– through student surveys and Joining Up Disability focus group
   Potential students – through application process surveys
   Staff – through staff surveys including the bi-annual diversity survey and
    staff focus groups
   Potential staff - through application process surveys
   Contractors – through procurement surveys

        External contacts and stakeholders – through Project Enable involvement
         and surveys
        Visitors and members of the public – through Project Enable involvement
         and surveys

This involvement will continue and develop into the implementation phase of the
       scheme. Our implementation process will be:

        Consultative, with our students and the Student Union
        Accessible, making sure that a wide range of disabled people have an
         opportunity to engage with the University;
        Clear about where we can make changes and what resources are
         available to deliver against our actions;
        Proportionate in our aim to be fair in the context of our available
        Specific in terms of providing evidence that our priority actions are being
        Transparent in terms of the outcomes from our action plans and any
         changes that need to be made. These will be regularly scrutinised by the
         University Secretary.

6.       Legal Framework

         The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) defines that a “disabled
         person” is a “person who has a disability”. A person is treated as having a
         disability if “he has a physical or mental impairment which has a
         substantial and long term adverse effect on his ability to carry out normal
         day to day activities”.

         It is unlawful to discriminate against disabled people by:

        refusing to provide a service without justification;
        providing a service to a lesser standard without justification;
        providing a service on worse terms without justification;
        failing to make reasonable adjustments to the way services are provided
         for disabled people;
        failing to make reasonable adjustments to the physical features of service
         premises, to overcome physical barriers to access.

The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) was passed in 1995. This Act consists of
3 parts. The first part of the Act defines disability and who is protected under the
Act. The second part of the Act covers employment and the third part covers
goods, services and facilities.

Whilst some elements of education were covered in this Act ie services and
employment, some key aspects were omitted. As a result in September 2001 the

Special Educational Needs and Disability Act was passed and became more
commonly known as SENDA.

SENDA more specifically covers students; those studying in post 16 education.
This part of the DDA 1995 sets clear deadlines during which time responsible
bodies need to ensure they are carrying out their duties under the Act. In
September 2002 it became unlawful to discriminate against a disabled student.
In practice this means disabled students must not receive “less favourable
treatment” due to having a disability and that “responsible bodies” must make
“reasonable adjustments” to accommodate specific needs.

In September 2003 the second part of SENDA came into force stating that
responsible bodies must make adjustments that involve the provision of auxiliary
aids and services. SENDA also placed a duty on universities to be “anticipatory”
in their support of disabled students. As well as making reasonable adjustments
for students who are already studying, universities need to consider support
requirements for prospective students before they begin their studies. The Act
also clarifies that it is unlawful to discriminate against a disabled person “in
admissions, enrolment or exclusion”.

Reasonable adjustments cover a whole variety of scenarios. A student may
benefit from receiving handouts in advance of lectures, or may need a portable
loop system in class or extra time in their examinations. Whilst some
adjustments can be on an individual basis responsible bodies need to consider
holistic approaches that can benefit all students. This could be providing all
modular handouts as downloadable documents on the web, through the Intranet
or via WebCT. All students then have the choice to access this information at
their own convenience. In addition to that students could also download the
information in their preferred format; font size, type, colour of printer paper etc.
Providing information in this way and improving its accessibility would also
address the universities anticipatory duties under the Act.

In addition to considering access to curriculum, teaching facilities and the
physical environment, other areas of the University are also covered by the DDA.
The Students’ Union must ensure that its services, activities, societies and
events are accessible to disabled students. University accommodation, such as
halls of residence must undertake reasonable adaptations to suit the needs of
disabled users.

The duty to make reasonable adjustments is an anticipatory one. This means
that educational providers must think ahead to the type of adjustments that may
be required and, where feasible, put these adjustments in place.

This might involve:

         Ensuring the accessibility of courses is considered during course

         Planning accessibility features into buildings at the design stage.

         Staff training.

         Auditing institutional procedures and processes to ensure that they do not
          set up unnecessary barriers to disabled people

         Ensuring e-learning materials are accessible to student with visual
          impairments or those who are unable to use a mouse

The Disability Discrimination Act 2005 places additional duties on responsible
bodies in relation to the support of, involvement and progression of disabled
people in the workplace and disabled students in their studies.

This amendment to the Act extends the definition of “disability” in two ways:

         It now covers people with progressive conditions; specifically cancer, HIV
          and multiple sclerosis. They will be recognised as having a disability from
          the point of diagnosis.

         A mental illness no longer has to be “clinically well recognised”.

This is very significant as this further opens up the definition of disability under
the Act and therefore will incorporate many more people than previously.

(Further implications of the DDA 2005 have already been addressed within the

7.        Responsibility for Implementation of DES

7.1       Collective and Institutional

          The Board of Governors is responsible for determining the Educational
          Character and Mission of the University. This is set out in the University’s
          Strategic Plan. In referring to the ethos of the University this states:

          “We are proud that all the elements of society are fully represented among
          our staff, students and partner organisations”


      “We embrace diversity and value difference”

      It is the responsibility of the Executive Board, to ensure that in its
      strategy, management and day to day operations the University acts in a
      manner which is consistent with the ethos set out in its Strategic Plan.
      The Disability Scheme is one of a number of delivery vehicles in this
      respect. It is the responsibility, therefore, of the Executive Board to see
      that the Scheme is implemented, monitored and effectively resourced.
      Disability is represented in their membership.

      It is the responsibility of the Academic Board to ensure that it delivers its
      accountability for academic quality in a manner which is consistent with
      the specifics and principles of the Disability Scheme. In particular it
      should ensure that content, modes of study, learning methods and
      assessment and examination processes do not present any impediment,
      barrier and/or disadvantage to disabled students.

      The University does not collate equality target information on the
      composition of all committees, particularly those whose membership are
      elected. Academic Board falls into this remit. Collection and collation of
      this information has been addressed in the action plan. The University
      does collect this information for the University’s Board of Governors
      members who are required to complete equal opportunities monitoring
      forms. None of them have declared a disability.

7.2   Individual Responsibilities

      The Vice Chancellor, as Chief Executive, is ultimately responsible to the
      Board for the implementation of all agreed policies of the University,
      including the Disability Scheme. Sh/e is also responsible for ensuring that
      adequate resources are made available for the effective pursuit of the
      schemes objectives

      The Pro Vice Chancellor (Academic) has responsibility for
      implementation of the scheme with respect to the curriculum, academic
      quality, learning and teaching and student progression through identifying
      existing and potential barriers and develop strategies to remove them.

      The University Secretary has overall responsibility for informing the
      Board of Governors that the University’s Disability Equality Scheme
      objectives are being met.

      The Director of Human Resources has overall responsibility for the
      implementation of the scheme as it effects current and prospective staff

        and contractors through identifying existing and potential barriers and
        develop strategies to remove them.

        The Dean of Students has overall responsibility for the implementation of
        the scheme as it affects current and prospective students through
        identifying existing and potential barriers and develop strategies to remove

        The Director of Estates has special responsibility for the implementation
        of the Scheme with respect to the accessibility of premises and facilities
        through identifying existing and potential barriers and develop strategies to
        remove them.

        Directors of Schools and Heads of Department have responsibility for
        the implementation of the Scheme in their spheres of operation and
        among the staff and students for whom they are responsible by identifying
        existing and potential barriers and develop strategies to remove them.

        All staff with management responsibility have responsibility for the
        implementation of the Scheme in their spheres of operation and among
        the staff and students for whom they are responsible by identifying
        existing and potential barriers and develop strategies to remove them.

        All staff with responsibility for strategy, policy and procedure have
        responsibility for undertaking the impact assessments process on
        strategy, policy and procedures to ensure they minimise the impact of
        disability on students, staff and other members of the community.

        All staff have responsibility for adhering to the policy and for minimising
        the impact of disability on students, colleagues and all those with whom
        they come into contact in the course of their work.

   8.      Description of Current Approach

   The Student Centre

The Student Centre was formed in 2001, following a review of Central Services
(Academic-Related) Administration. It is designed to provide a seamless service
for students from initial contact with the University to graduation organised
     A “first-stop shop” Student Information Service
     Student Recruitment and Admissions Team
     Student and Residential Services Team
     Student Data Management Team

The Disability Service is part of the Student and Residential Services team and
its work is outlined in Section 7.1 In addition to its key role in supporting
individual students the Disability Service has a wider role in promoting
understanding of legislative and accessibility requirements and disseminating
good practice. It is through this that all staff can embed these requirements into
their work.

Below are two examples of how two services are working with disabled students
and ex-students:

The Careers Service
All of our handouts are copied on pastel coloured paper. On our help desk we
have a copy of “Your guide to a careers guidance appointment and drop in
services” in large font alongside the normal font version. This includes a
statement “The Careers Service particularly encourages use of its services by
students with disabilities, mature students and those from an ethnic minority or
socially disadvantaged background.”
As careers advisers we are part of The DDN, the Disability Development
Network, part of AGCAS( Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services)
We are careers advisers interested in those students with disabilities. It has an
email discussion facility and meetings and training topics at least once a year.

From the Volunteering Administrator
It is of concern that disabled students leave the University having gained a
degree but are not necessarily equipped for employment in the outside world. In
meetings earlier in the year with the Disability Adviser, it was decided to alter the
form that students filled in so that the Disability Service could pass contact
information to me. This would enable me to contact students in order to offer
them the opportunity to gain work based skills via the Volunteering Project.

At the end of the Academic Year an audit was made and it was found that 42 out
of the 216 students on the volunteer database were registered with our disability

The next stage of the plan will be to contact local community groups and
organizations that use volunteers in to secure volunteer placements for disabled
students, and then to monitor their experience. It is anticipated that students will
be provided with the opportunity to enhance their employability prospects.

For the Academic Year 2006/7 one of the Student Centre’s objectives is to take
a leading role in the formulation and dissemination of the University’s Disability
Equality Scheme. All Student Centre Procedures are to be reviewed to ensure
that they are anticipatory and complaint. Once the review has been completed,
an action plan will be implemented.

The staff of the Student Centre work closely with representatives of the
University of Bolton’s Students’ Union to ensure that the Union is fully
represented on those fora which discuss disability matters.

The Disability Service offers support, advice and guidance to students who have
declared a disability from pre-application to graduation, as well as to academic
staff. In addition to this diagnostic screenings are offered in order to make
referrals to assess for specific learning difficulties ie Dyslexia.

This support is offered via confidential one to one appointments and Drop In
sessions, staff and student inductions and through awareness raising events.
The service must be accessible and therefore communication and liaison with its
users is available through a variety of mediums; information packs, telephone,
email, website, fax, Minicom, SMS text messaging and, when requested, audio
format and Braille.

The Disability Service has been extensively developed over the last four years to
cater for the needs of its users. There are a number of reasons for this. The
profile of the service has been greatly improved throughout the University
through Staff Development sessions focusing on supporting disabled students
and improving accessibility to all. Practices and procedures have been
consistently developed and fine tuned to deal with the ever increasing amount of
students who access the service. Publicising the support that is available
through the University prospectus, disability information packs & booklets, the
website, academic departments, Learning Support and Development and
through talks given to external contacts, such as schools and colleges, adds to
the increased demand on the service.

During the academic year 2002/03 543 students declared a disability, over 500
one to one confidential appointments were conducted and the service received
around 500 phone calls. In comparison by 2003/04 the service had conducted
550 appointments, received approx 1200 phone calls and had over 600 students
registered with a disability. These figures have continued to increase and during
2005/06 just under 800 appointments were conducted and over 750 students
were registered with the Disability Service.

The Introduction of part IV of the DDA 1995, the Special Educational Needs and
Disability Act in 2001, which involved various deadlines for meeting the needs of
disabled students, meant that raising awareness of the University’s
responsibilities under this Act became a priority. Thus entailed many staff
development sessions run by the Disability Adviser.

In November 2004 a Senior Disability Adviser post was created (SO1), and a full
time Disability Adviser (Scale 5) and part time (0.5) Clerical Assistant (Scale 2)
were appointed. By this stage approx 700 students had disclosed a disability to
the University. Since this time to date the Disability Service has continued to

develop and improve the services offered to students and staff. There are more
one to one appointments available at both campuses with both advisers, a
weekly Drop-In Session has been created, and study skills support for students
awaiting their study needs assessments are available.

The Disability Service has developed a form to enable students to “Disclose a
Disability” with any member of staff within the University. This has involved
raising awareness amongst staff as well as students. A Consent Release form is
also used with every student who has disclosed a disability. The students have
the option of signing to agree to liaison with other people both inside and outside
of the University ie tutors, Local Authorities, GPs, Community Psychiatric Nurses,
Study Needs Assessors. Student can specify if they agree liaison with some
people and not others.

The service now has a range of assistive technology available to loan to students
who are not entitled to funded support or are still waiting for it. The Disability
Service works alongside Learning Support and Development in ensuring the
needs of disabled students are met and also liaises at many levels with academic

A new module has been developed in the central student records system within
the Disability Service. This module, “Accessibility Manager”, will eventually be
rolled out University wide to aid the dissemination of information throughout
relevant academic departments, to improve the learning experience for disabled

The Senior Disability Adviser works with HR in ensuring disability awareness
raising sessions are provided on a rolling programme for both academic and
professional staff at the University. This involves presenting sessions at
Academic Briefings throughout the academic year as well as running specific
half- day awareness raising events. An impact assessment on this has identified
that take up has been limited and will be addressed by offering a diversity stream
in the annual Teaching and Learning conference, issuing good practice guides
for all staff who teach and through the mandatory diversity training through
Theatre-in and the Dignity and Respect training that will include disability

The Disability Service continues to gather feedback from Disabled students via
questionnaires, focus groups and participation in awareness raising events and
uses this information to develop and improve service provision.

Since the amendment of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 to the Disability
Discrimination Act 2005, the University has further recognised it responsibilities
to not only support disabled staff and students but to be proactive in approach to
create an accessible working/learning environment.

As 2006/07 academic year commences well over 700 students have declared
additional support requirements and this is anticipated to exceed 800 by the end
of the academic year.

8.2   Academic Projects

8.2.1 Good Assessment Workbook

      In 2005, the University‘s Learner Experience Committee Assessment Task
      Group published it’s” Good Assessment Guide: A Practical Guide To
      Assessment for Lecturers”. The Disability section emphasises that there
      must be no unnecessary barriers for students with a disability, and it also
      reminds staff about contacting the University Disability and LS and D

8.2.2 ABECAS

      Built Environment staff have written a guidance booklet “ Removing
      Barriers and Making Adjustments for Disabled Students in Built
      Environment Degree Programmes” The booklet is an outcome from
      Project ABECAS (Accessible built environment careers for all students),
      funded by HECCE through the National Disability Team (NDT) and the
      University of Bolton.

8.2.3 DART

      Built Environment lecturers at the University have been key partners in a
      project designed to help disabled students. The Disabilities: Academic
      Resource Tool (DART), pioneered and led by Loughborough University,
      has created a web-based tool designed to make the curriculum more
      accessible to students with a disability. The project gives academics
      access to a database where they can find the best- practice advice
      suitable for individual students. The database also holds case studies
      where students give their views on what suits their needs best.

8.2.4 MIDAS

      Making Inclusive Design Accessible and Successful is a European Social
      Fund project through which design experts at Bolton aim to bring together
      disabled people, design students and businesses to create new products
      that can be used by the vast majority. For the first time, the whole design
      process is accessible to disabled people as they play a key part in it.

8.3       Learning Support and Development

8.3.1 LS and D works closely with both students and staff in other departments
      to ensure that services are appropriate for users with specific needs. In
      particular, its strong relationships with Estates, Student Services, and
      Communications and Information Technology, are facilitated via the
      University committee structure, detailed elsewhere, working groups, with
      student participation, and networking. This ensures that relevant strategic
      and operational areas are addressed at the right level, by the right people,
      and that student views are sought.

          In 2001/02, LS and D undertook a major review of specific needs’
          provision. The recommendations for enhancements to the service took
          into account the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995
          (DDA), and the Special Needs and Disability Act 2001 (SENDA), the
          Quality Assurance Agency Code of Practice for Students with Disabilities,
          and the SCONUL Guidelines on services to students with specific needs.
          Many improvements have been made as a result of the review.

          As part of its work in obtaining a Government Charter Mark for excellent
          customer service (2002 and 2005), LS and D has been more pro-active in
          providing and promoting its disability services, thus pre-empting newer
          legislation. In November 2005, the Charter Mark Assessor wrote
          “Outstanding features of the application are:

          The attention paid to developing systems and facilities to support students
          with specific needs. The positive role played by staff in this respect is of
          the highest quality.

          A high quality of service information in a variety of formats.

          The provision is impressive and is highly valued by students.”

          We have in place Equal Opportunities, Specific Needs and Disability
          policies and procedures.

          This Disability Equality Scheme contains further enhancements to LS and
          D services in its Action Plan section.

8.3.2 Inductions for all specific needs students include :-

         Introduction to LS and D’s specific needs facilities, services and
         Setting up of personal computer profiles where this will enhance use of
          the PC network

      Booking personal appointments, by mutual arrangement, for an
       introduction to software or equipment.

8.3.3 Learning Support Centres – (LSCs)

       Both Learning Support Centres have had modifications made which aid
       those with mobility problems. (The LS and D web pages detail the
       facilities). Physical access is DDA compliant, and the working environment
       is equipped with accessible toilet facilities, lifts, reconfigured book shelves,
       low- level door pushes, wide access doors and ramping, and matt
       laminate signage, Minicom machines and hearing loop systems are
       provided at the Information and Issue desks, together with portable
       hearing loops for use when necessary.

8.3.4 Enhanced Services

       A service offering a more tailored provision of additional services, matched
       to the needs of each individual is in operation. All students registered with
       the University as having specific needs are entitled to a range of additional

      copies of most in-house leaflets in Braille, large print format, on audiotape
       or on floppy disk.
      Flexible loan arrangements.
      Transport and return of books between sites
      Facilities for a proxy.
      Inter library loan requests by post or phone
      Subject searches of electronic resources and the Internet.
      Advice on choosing materials from the appropriate subject specialist.
      Photocopying service.

8.3.5 Special Equipment

       There are two fully supported Enabling Technology rooms for users with
       specific requirements: Laurel in Eagle LSC and Sapphire in Chadwick
       LSC. These rooms contain multimedia networked computers that can
       access the internet, email, and electronic services, as well as all the
       normal networked software.

   Specialist hardware and software to assist students with disabilities includes:

      screen reader/magnifier software
      dictation software
      text help “Read and Write”, to assist with reading and writing difficulties

       Kurzweil 3000
       CCTV viewers
       Braille translation programme (grade 1 and 2)
       Braille embosser
       optical character recognition software
       tactile image enhancer
       ergonomic chairs and other furniture

8.3.6   Specialist Software

        High level support is, or will be provided, for four packages:-

       Read and Write Gold, Supernova, Dragon Naturally Speaking, and
        Inspiration. In order to foster more inclusivity for students with special
        needs, more software is being made available over the network.
       Network-wide access is available to:-
       Texthelp Read and Write GOLD (for users with Dyslexia)
       Inspiration 8.0 (for dyslexic users but a powerful visual learning tool for

8.3.7 Publications

        A range of LSS publications is available on audiocassette and in large
        print and Braille. Publications can be accessed in PDF format via the web
        pages enabling students with specific needs to access them in the LSC’s
        Enabling Technology rooms, or remotely. The LS and D web pages meet
        or exceed the minimum legal requirement of accessibility on all pages.
        The web pages have been tested on a variety of browsers including Lynx,
        the Macintosh browser Safari, Internet Explorer (IE) 6, Mozilla Firefox, and
        Opera. The LS and D Specific Needs group has organised a number of
        themed displays in the LSC’s on subjects such as blind and deaf
        awareness, mental health, dyslexia, and aspergers syndrome. These
        displays promote a wider awareness of specific needs to the wider
        university community.

8.3.8 Staffing

        In October 2005, LS and D designated a computer based Information
        Officer to be responsible for dedicated specific needs users’ support. The
        post involves:-

       Supporting specific needs students on a one-to-one basis
       Investigating/sourcing/costing/testing/advising on the purchase of new
        specialist software and equipment
       Writing support materials for specialist software and equipment
       Training other members of staff, particularly core Information Desk Team

      Writing and maintaining content for the LS and D Specific Needs website.

       The post reports to the LS and D Disability Project Group, and the post
       holder is also a member of the LS and D web pages group.

       The majority of the Department’s staff have taken part in the University
       wide diversity learning programme “Respect for People”. Staff are also
       beginning to take part in the new “Theatre In” programme for diversity.
       LSS policies such as the Values Policy, Guidelines for Customer Care,
       and the Policy on Disability ensure that everyone is treated with respect,
       fairly and sensitively.

       In recent years, disability awareness training has been a staff
       development priority for the majority in the department in order to help
       staff to appreciate, understand, and assist users with specific needs. This
       is provided by external trainers and covers mental, physical, and specialist
       learning needs.

8.3.9 NoWAL

       LS and D is a member of NoWAL- the North West Academic Libraries
       consortium. The NoWAL Diversity Group is a task and finish group which
       exists actively to promote equality and diversity in all areas of Library and
       Information provision for both staff and users. The Group recognises that
       addressing issues of diversity involves respect for, and sensitivity to, the
       needs of individuals and seeks therefore to advise and inform rather than
       to offer prescriptive solutions.

8.4 Staff

8.4.1 Diversity Survey

In order to evaluate the perceptions of staff with respect to the current equality
policies and practices within the University of Bolton, a Diversity Survey of all
employees working for the University was undertaken in May 2006. The
anticipated outcome of the research was that it would identify the areas where
the University of Bolton is performing well in its anti-discriminatory practice and
areas of policy and practice where it could do better.

The results of the Diversity Survey and a follow-up focus group indicate the
University is performing relatively well compared to the sector in its current
practices. However, there are areas which need strengthening:-

               Bullying and harassment, where there was under reporting and low
                confidence in the University’s ability to deal with these instances.

            Flexible working arrangements which need extending to those with
             caring responsibilities for elderly or disabled dependents, and to
             those reaching their preferred retirement date.
            Flexible retirement arrangements, where the University is
             encouraged to take a pragmatic approach to encouraging workers to
             work longer based upon its strategic needs.
            Recruitment and selection, where the likelihood of age, disability and
             gender discrimination needs to be reduced by amending guidance
             notes and introducing a system for monitoring the profile job
             applicants by age, disability and gender at all stages of the
             recruitment process.
            Disclosure rate for staff with disabilities, which needs to be improved
             by identifying the reasons why staff are reluctant to disclose
             disability status through further focus groups.

8.4.2 Diversity Workbook

The Diversity Workbook was introduced in 2003 to all staff. All staff were issued
with a pin number to identify if they had completed the training. Training
consisted of a telephone test that required the individual to answer 9 out of 12
questions correct in order to pass their diversity training.

All new staff received the workbook as part of their induction and issued with a
pin number. Although the Diversity Workbook was regarded as groundbreaking
upon its release, the outcomes from the use of the telephone test was that it was
a test of memory rather than changing attitudes and behaviours.

The workbook was delivered in alternative format, for example, the cleaning staff
had a paper test rather than use the telephone test.

8.4.3 Diversity Training

In 2006, the HR Community Officer and Training Officer, developed a new
diversity workbook that rather than focus on employment legislation, informs new
staff of the staff and student profiles within the University, focuses on the Equal
Opportunities Steering Group Promotion Action Groups and other University
groups work with the community including initiatives and projects that the
University is leading and working in partnership with the local borough and other
external agencies.

Changing attitudes and behaviours is essential to making diversity training
successful and in 2006 the diversity workbook telephone test approach was
replaced by a new version for staff with an on-line quiz. In addition an
experiential approach to Diversity Training, delivered by a theatre company has
been implemented. This training is delivered by Theatre-in, an innovative
training, development and creative presentation company who incorporate

drama-based training techniques to deliver a series of workshops identifying
different equality strands, including disability, to focus on driving behavioural and
attitudinal changes .

This training was delivered to the University’s senior management team who
agreed that this be mandatory and rolled out to all staff. The university are
committed to this staff development programme which was launched during June
2006 and continues to be rolled out.

8.4.4 Dignity and Respect at Work and in Learning and Study

In 2006, the University re-launched its Dignity and Respect at Work and in
Learning and Study Policy and Procedure. The Dignity and Respect at work
policy has been approved by ACAS and incorporates mediation through out its
processes. It aims to ensure that no University of Bolton employee, student or
visitor is subject to harassment or bullying of any nature in the teaching, learning,
or working environments. The Dignity and Respect at Work and in Learning and
Study Policy and Procedures seek to encourage staff, students and visitors to
come forward with their concerns that will be dealt with in complete confidence,
impartiality and with sensitivity. The University of Bolton has Dignity and Respect
Advisers to provide a networked support system for members of the University's
community who believe that they are experiencing harassment. Our Advisers
are recruited from members of the Student Union staff, the University of Bolton’s
staff and students. All our Advisers are trained in dealing with harassment and
bullying issues.

The policy on Dignity and Respect at Work and in Learning and Study is
applicable to both staff and students; however, there are separate procedures for
dealing with staff (Dignity and Respect at Work) and student (Dignity and
Respect in Learning and Study) complaints. Both involve an informal and formal

8.4.5 Human Resources Strategy and Annual Departmental Plans

These set out how the organisation will maximise the contribution of its staff in
delivering services and achieving their annual planning priorities. As a two ticks
symbol holder we will review our progress in meeting the national minimum
standards for the recruitment, retention and promotion of disabled people on an
annual basis.

The University seeks to anticipate the needs of disabled staff and remove
barriers to every aspect of their employment covering recruitment, personal and
professional development, promotion, and other terms and conditions to enable
them to make a positive contribution in the workplace.

       The aims are:

      Encourage a culture where disabled staff can declare their disabilities in a
       supportive environment.

      Recognise the particular contribution to achievement of the University's
       mission made by individuals with a wide range of backgrounds and

      Provide a framework that ensures a consistent and equitable approach to
       make reasonable adjustments for the University of Bolton staff community.

      Support staff in the University by encouraging a culture where managers
       take an active interest in the health and well-being of their staff through
       regular communication and anticipate the needs of disabled staff wherever

      Provide access to appropriate advice and assistance to optimise staff
       physical and psychological wellbeing in the workplace.

      Actively promote disability awareness that fosters positive attitudes by
       providing diversity training programmes and events.

      Make sure that disabled people who meet the essential minimum
       requirements for jobs are interviewed.

      Make reasonable adjustments to the working environment to allow
       disabled applicants to be appointed.

8.5 Estates

Access to Buildings

The University has already made many adjustments and improvements to the
physical features of its buildings. Access plans assist in prioritising necessary
works for improving accessibility to campuses.

An access audit was conducted in 2001 and many buildings issues will be
improved as part of an on-going estates general maintenance and future
improvement plan.

As a University, we are aware that the estate’s needs to take into account those
with visual impairments and mental health disabilities.

The University of Bolton has 3 flats in each of the two halls of residence that
have ensuite facilities and other adaptations ie a seat and supportive hand rails
in the shower. In standard halls accommodation adjustments can also be made

such as providing a private fridge to store medication or flashing fire alarms,
vibrating pads and pagers for deaf students. In some instances students who
have a lot of equipment as a result of their disability may be allocated two rooms
together for the price of one to accommodate their needs. An example of this is
a student with a visual impairment who has a large computer monitor, CCTV and
other specialist equipment as well as their standard possessions therefore
requiring additional space.

8.6 Finance, Procurement and Purchasing

The University of Bolton will ensure that procurement policies and practices take
account of our legal duties to promote equality and in this instance to make sure
we are meeting the disability equality duty. We will do this by undertaking the

    placing an expectation on our appointed contractors to share and deliver our
     equalities and diversity goals;
    make sure that disability equality along with other areas of diversity is taken
     into account when procuring goods, works or services from external
    monitoring our contracts for compliance including appropriate terms and

9.       Current Good Practice – External Validation

        The University achieved the “Two Ticks” Job Centre Plus award in March

        The University has been an Investor in People since 2001 and achieved
         successful re-assessment in 2004, under the new criteria which include
         assessment of its approach to Equal Opportunities.

        In 2003, the University produced the ground breaking diversity workbook
         “Respect for People”. This was issued to all staff and involved a
         telephone test which staff were able to take to confirm their understanding
         of the content.

        In February 2004 the staff of the Student Centre were awarded the matrix
         Standard, a quality award for the high quality of their Information, Advice
         and Guidance services. The high standard of disability awareness was
         remarked upon in the matrix Assessment Report . The students who had
         been interviewed commented on’ exceptional responsiveness and

         Staff of the Learning Support and Development achieved the Charter Mark
          award for Excellence in Customer Service in 2002. The department were
          successfully re-assessed in December 2005, with one of the highest
          scores achieved nationally.

         The University holds an annual weekly event on “Celebrating Diversity” to
          experience a week of the University’s diverse culture with activities and
          events that bring alive the many facets and characteristics of our staff and
          student community. The event is an opportunity for the Equal
          Opportunities Steering Group’s Promotion Groups to publicise their focus
          group objectives and engage with staff and students. It will also be used
          to promote the University’s Diversity Information Portal, as well as add
          impetus to diversity training including the Dignity and Respect at Work and
          in Learning and Study Policy.

10.       Data Collection

10.1      Benchmark data for disabled staff

          It is our aim to prepare and analyse monitoring information of employee’s
          profiles, to publish data and to set appropriate targets for increased
          representation of disabled people. The percentage of our staff who have
          declared a disability is 2.3%. This type of data is not collected for the
          University’s a-typical staff including part time hourly paid lecturers and
          temporary supply staff. This omission is addressed in our action plan.

          The diversity survey sent to all staff including a-typical staff (achieved a
          27% response rate) has indicated that 3.6% of the staff considered that
          they had a disability under the DDA. In contrast 14.5% declared that they
          had a health problem, medical condition or impairment which indicates
          that employees are either not recognising that they have a disability under
          DDA or are unwilling to disclose it. The data indicates that the university
          has significant proportion of staff with a wide range of disabilities but with
          small numbers in each category.

          The University have invested in a new computerised personnel record
          system that will enable the University to benchmark their data against
          national statistics.

          Recruitment – see action plan
          Promotion – see action plan
          Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures – see action plan
          Integration in the workforce – see action plan
          Access to staff development
          Exit Interviews – see action plan

10.2   Benchmark data for disabled students

       Gap analysis:

       The national percentage for disabled students in Higher Education is 5%.
       At the University of Bolton the figure for 2005/6 was 12%.

       The number of students declaring a disability continues to rise

        Year                  No. of Disabled
        2002/3                543
        2003/4                653
        2004/5                695
        2005/6                737
        2006/7 to date        800

       Retention – See Action Plan
       Progression – See Action Plan
       Disciplinary and Complaints Procedure – See Action Plan

11. Impact Assessment
Impact assessments are an essential tool for achieving disability equality within
our organisation. As part of their Disability Equality Scheme all public authorities
must include a statement of their methods for assessing the impact and potential
impact of their policies on equality for disabled persons.

The purpose of impact assessment is both to ensure that all University decisions
and activities do not disadvantage disabled people, and also to identify where
they might better promote equality of opportunity, including consideration of
where the different parts of the disability equality duty (such as promoting
positive attitudes) might be built into those policies and practices.

It is our intention to improve the current impact assessment process through the
involvement of disabled people and to make sure we publish the results of all our
assessments. Impact Assessments on policies and procedures will be
completed by February 2007.

12. Monitoring, Evaluation and Review
We will involve our disabled community in the evaluation of our scheme and
action plans and make sure that the scheme is evaluated. This will include:
     Students and potential students
     Staff and potential staff
     Contractors
     External contacts and stakeholders
     Visitors and members of the public

This process will include making any changes to the scheme so that continuous
performance improvements and overall effectiveness demonstrate our
commitment to the disability equality duty.

The Disability Equality Scheme will be reviewed on an annual basis reviewed by
the University Secretary with a report to the Board of Governors.

The Disability Equality Scheme Action Plan will be reviewed quarterly and
accompanied by published progress reports through the Equal Opportunities
Steering Group route.

As a two ticks symbol holder employer, we are committed to review the five
commitments and what has been achieved, plan ways to improve on them and
let employees and Job Centre Plus know about progress and future plans. This is
conducted on an annual basis, every March.

As the University’s Library service has the Charter Mark standard there is a
commitment to regular health checks with a review in December 2006 and every
two years after.

The University’s Student Centre has matrix Standard this will be re-assessed in
February 2008.

The University will be re-assessed for Investors in People in July 2007.

13. Publication of outcomes

Publication of the Disability Equality Scheme outcomes will be published on the
Diversity Information Portal (located under the Corporate heading of the University
Web Page) with links from both staff and student pages with available access to the
broader community and partner organisations. Regular progress reports will be
published in line with Equal Opportunities Steering Group review timetables.

They will also be published in paper and alternative formats on request to be made
available to each university department, partner organisations and to the general

public. Those partner organisations and broader community involved in the Project
Enable will be circulated this information as part of that remit and it is envisaged that
the partner organisations will set up a web site for this specific purpose.

       14. Action Plan

Objective                              Action                               Target Date Lead         Outcome
Impact Assessment
Develop a comprehensive equality       Purchase or develop an               Feb 2007   University    Compliance with DDA and
impact assessment process with costing equality impact                                 Secretary     maintained into business
                                       assessment tool                                               planning process

Identify policies, procedures and            Each department to assess      Feb 2007   University    Produce list and timetable
practices to impact assess                   policies, procedures and                  Secretary     for impact assessment
                                             practices for any                                       schedule
                                             adverse impact – checked by
                                             EOSG promotion groups?

New policies and procedures to        Set up new process for all            Feb 2007   University    Feed into impact assessment
undergo the impact assessment process new policies and                                 Secretary     list and timetable schedule for
                                      procedures to be impact                                        three year cycle
Publish the outcomes of impact               Set up process for             Feb 2007   University    Results of impact
assessments                                  publication of outcomes                   Secretary     assessments open to
                                             from impact assessment –                                public scrutiny
                                             Diversity information portal
Access to Buildings
Continue to carry out works to improve       Programme of work to be        ongoing    Director of   Continuous improvement
or remove barriers to access in University   agreed by the Estates                     Estates
buildings                                    Strategy group
Disabled people to view accessibility to     User surveys                   ongoing    Director of   Disabled users to identify
University buildings before completion                                                 Estates       access and service options
Identify common problems with                Involvement of staff           ongoing    Director of   Produce information and
accessibility in or to University            (diversity survey), service               Estates       good practice guidance

buildings                                 users or visitor surveys
Service Delivery
Conduct a survey of broader community     A joint consultation event with   4 meetings   HR Community       Written report on outcomes
                                          the community - Better Bolton     per annum    Officer            with follow up action plan
(Project ENABLE)
                                          Café joint event - 21 July        to be
                                          2006 and follow up 20             scheduled                       DDA compliance and
                                          October 2006.                                                     evidence of good practice
                                          Written report on outcomes

Consultation and involvement of service                                                  Disability         DDA compliance and
provision will include disabled people                                                   Promotion Group    evidence of good practice
Review Mitigating Circumstances Policy                                      June 2007    Head of Quality
                                                                                         Assurance &
Undertake research to establish           Publish outcomes                  2006/7       Head of Learning   DDA compliance and
reasons for non-usage of LSS services.                                                   Support Services   evidence of good practice

Develop a fully enhanced operational                                        2006/7       Head of Learning
specific needs Induction system.                                                         Support Services

Ongoing enhancements to equipment,                                          ongoing      Head of Learning
software and other LS and D services                                                     Support Services
resulting from user feedback and staff
development activities.

Investigate/implement delivery of                                           2006/7       Head of Learning
training for specific needs students in                                                  Support Services
the use of assistive technology.

Review and set new standards for           As specified                   2006/7      Head of Learning
specific needs support.                                                               Support Services

Broadening the learning experience         Obtain volunteering            2006/7,    Head of Student      Monitor the experience of
through support for student volunteering   placements for disabled        2007/8 and Services             disabled students
                                           students                       2008/9

Supporting success and progression         Establish a project to         Audit – 2006 Head of Student    Implementation of
for students with diverse needs            research how the curriculum    /7            Services          enhancements in response
including disability                       relates to disabled students   Action Plan –                   to the findings in 2007/8 and
                                           and access to the curriculum   2007/8                          2008/9 with review in 2008/9

Benchmarking data                          Data collection to include     July 2007   HR Systems
                                           a-typical staff                            Officer
Diversity survey                           Report on first diversity      Survey -    Head of             Evidence of organisational
                                           survey                         every two   Personnel and       awareness and self confidence
                                           Report outcomes:               years – May Organisational
                                           Publicise on diversity         2008        Development
                                           information portal and
                                           Celebrating Diversity Event

Introduce job redesign as part of          Staff training on              June 2007   HR Community        Evidence of organisational
                                           risk assessments for                       Officer and         awareness and self confidence
recruitment, selection and retention of
                                           disabled staff                             Training Officer
staff                                      Dignity and Respect Training
                                           Recruitment and Selection                  Personnel Officer
                                           Training                                   and Training

Produce a policy on reasonable             Set up process for reasonable December        HR Community       Evidence of organisational
                                           adjustment                    2006            Officer            awareness and self confidence
                                           Training programme for

Conduct a review for reasons why           Promotion of policies on:      Aug 2007       Head of            Evidence of organisational
employees do not to declare a disability   Reasonable adjustment                         Personnel and      awareness and self confidence
                                           Dignity and Respect                           Organisational
                                           Disability information at                     Development
                                             Diversity Survey to focus
                                           Benchmarking data              Extend to      Planning and
                                                                          Cover          Information
                                                                          Governors,     Adviser
                                                                          Part time
                                                                          Lecturers &
                                                                          Supply staff
Launch Occupational Health Strategy        Promotion of policies on web   Dec 2007       HR Community       Evidence of organisational
                                           pages.                                        Officer and        awareness and self confidence
that also covers Disability
                                                                                         Training Officer
                                           Management development on Feb 2007
                                           reasonable adjustment, sickness onwards
                                           absence and health initiatives.

Review the “Two Ticks” symbol actions      Annual review process          Annually -     HR Community       DDA compliance and
                                           Promote this award through     March          Officer            evidence of good practice
                                           Diversity Workbook and
                                           Information portal

Increase staff knowledge of DES          Staff Development programme: June 2006          Head of              Increase in knowledge and
                                                                                         Personnel and        skill
                                         Diversity Training
                                         Theatre-in – compulsory                         Development
                                         Diversity workbook – new           Jan 2007
                                         Reasonable adjustments
                                         Dignity and Respect Training Feb 2007
                                         Recruitment and Selection          onwards
Health and wellbeing                     £1 million challenge initiative to get 2007 –
                                         the workforce active to include May 2009        Head of Student
                                         engaging all equality groups                    Services, HR
                                         including disabled staff to offer
                                                                                         Officer and Sports
                                         activities based on their needs
                                                                                         Centre Manager

                                         Develop mental well-being
                                         policy for staff and students   2007

Perception of broader community of the   Investigate how the University 2007             Disability           DDA compliance and
University of Bolton as an employer                                                      Partnership          evidence of good practice
                                          is perceived by joint
                                                                                         (Project Enable)
                                         questionnaire with Disability
                                         Partnership employers at the
                                         disability forum events (4 per

Develop relevant disability considerations Review current                    2007       Procurement
into the current procurement process       procurement process and                      Manager
                                           amend as appropriate
Involvement and engagement
All staff use agreed standards for         Diversity training – Theatre-In              Head of           Staff aware
communication for disabled people          Diversity Workbook – new                     Personnel and     DDA compliance and
                                           starters                                     Organisational    evidence of good practice
                                           Diversity Information portal                 Development
Promotion of Good Practice                 Diversity information portal      Dec 2006   Head of         DDA compliance and
                                                                             onwards    Personnel and   evidence of good practice
                                           Diversity Workbook
                                           Student Handbook                             Development and
                                           Dignity and Respect Training                 Head of Student
                                           Annual Celebrating Diversity                 Services

                                          Process to be set up
Produce a Policy on Alternative Formats for                                  2007       Senior Disability DDA compliance and
University publications                   Link into Diversity Information               Adviser and         evidence of good practice
                                          Portal                                        Joining up disability
Complete an overhaul of LS and D           Create micro-site with            2006/07    Head of Learning Link into Diversity Information
Specific Needs website                     individual pages:                 2007/08    Support Services Portal
                                           Dedicated to different disability                             DDA compliance and
                                           conditions                                                    evidence of good practice
                                           Supporting specific needs
                                           students via the web
                                           Raising awareness of various
                                           disabilities to the University

                                           population as a whole
Train all core Information Desk staff to   Training programme.              ongoing      Head of Learning
support specific needs students.                                                         Support Services
                                           Insert into PDP and
                                           departmental plan                Jan 2007
DART and ABECAS projects                   Diversity Workbook – new         Dec 2006     HR Community & DDA compliance and
awareness raising                          starters                                      Training Officer evidence of good practice
                                           Diversity Information portal
                                           and Celebrating Diversity Week
Celebrating Diversity Event                Annual one week event to         October      HR Community       Annual one week event plus
                                           promote awareness of             2006 and     Officer            one day event every month
                                           disability, disability projects, annually                        during term time focussed on
                                           disability focus groups          thereafter                      different topics – dance,
                                                                                                            costume, sport, etc
Diversity awareness                        Establish programmes of          June 2006  Head of
                                           diversity awareness updating                Educational
                                           for all staff (Teaching and                 Development
                                           Learning Strategy)                          Unit
Supporting continuing professional         Annual teaching and learning     2006/7,    Head of              One conference per year for
development activity                       conferences                      2007/8 and Educational          2006/7 to 2008/09
                                                                            2008/9     Development          Each conference at least 20
                                                                                       Unit                 presentations with at least 2
                                                                                                            relating to the promotion of
                                                                                                            race, disability and gender
Promote good practice in learning and      Three symposia per annum         2006/7,    Head of              6 presentations with at least 1
teaching                                                                    2007/8 and Educational           to incorporate the promotion
                                                                            2008/9     Development          of race, disability and gender
Supporting progression – enhancement       Establish a project with         2007/08    Head of
to curriculum                              action plan to enhance                      Educational
                                           access                                      Development

Working with the Student Union to       2007/8   Head of Student Increase the number of students
involve them with Disability Equality             Services,      who attend Joining up Disability
Scheme                                           Student Union
                                                 President and
                                                 Student Union
                                                 General Manager
Numerical Targets for benchmarking on   2006/7   Planning and
students and staff data collection               Information

                                                                         Appendix 1
An impact assessment is a thorough and systematic analysis of policy, whether
that policy is written or unwritten, formal or informal to determine whether it has a
differential impact on a particular group.

The terminology of “policy” in this context covers the following:
    policies and procedures
    systems and processes
    all functions and services
    customs and practices

This process should be regarded in the same way as any good management
practice and resources for impact assessment directed to the policies, functions
and practices which have the greatest relevance and impact on equality and
diversity. The long term objective is to embed this practice into all University
policy writing procedure. All staff with responsibility for strategy, policy and
procedure have responsibility for undertaking the impact assessments process to
ensure they minimise the impact of disability on students, staff and other
members of the community.

The impact assessment process follows a simple template and in order to be
effective, an impact assessment should be made at the beginning of its policy
cycle and then throughout its development.

Impact assessments are not a one-off exercise but should be incorporated in to a
three-year cycle for review. All existing policies and practices of the University
are mapped out, prioritised for action, and responsibilities have been established
to ensure a thorough and systematic coverage of all University functions.
Results of assessments will be monitored and made available for internal and
external stakeholders.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) produced a flow
chart in their guidance that identifies a mapping exercise showing the stages of
the impact assessment process. This flow chart is included in this document to
reflect how the University will conduct impact assessments.

Improving disability equality performance is what disability equality impact
assessment is all about. Conducting disability equality impact assessments
should lead to action to improve performance in relation to disabled people. If
nothing changes as a result of the disability equality impact assessments carried
out by the University across its range of functions, then it is unlikely that these will
have been adequately conducted, or that the University is genuinely meeting its
disability equality duty. The outcomes of impact assessments already made on
our processes by consultation with our students and staff through questionnaires,
surveys and focus groups as well as involvement with the broader community

have been used to produce our action plan. Work on this will be ongoing to
identify those priorities for action.

In determining our arrangements for impact assessment, we have agreed criteria
for determining the extent to which disabled people should be involved in impact
assessment. Do we advocate full involvement of disabled people?

A judgement of adverse impact is made if the impact of a policy disadvantages
on disabled staff, students or other stakeholder. Steps then have to be taken to
mitigate this adverse or negative impact.

The concepts of proportionality and relevance are essential for carrying out an
impact assessment. The University are expected to have ‘due regard’ to the six
parts of the general duty. ‘Due regard’ comprises two linked elements, known as
proportionality and relevance. In all their decisions and functions, the University
will give due weight to the need to promote disability equality in proportion to its

Disability equality will be more relevant to some functions than others. The
University will take care when assessing relevance to those functions that are
likely to be of relevance to disabled people.

Proportionality requires greater consideration to be given to disability equality in
relation to functions or policies that have the most effect on disabled people.
Where changing a function or proposed policy leads to significant benefits to
disabled people, the need for such a change will carry added weight when
balanced against other considerations. Where it not possible for the University to
adopt the course of action that will best promote disability equality, the University
will ensure that they show due regard to the requirement to promote disability
equality alongside other competing requirements.

The general duty requires the University not only to have due regard to disability
equality when making decisions about the future but also to take action to tackle
the consequences of decisions in the past which failed to give due regard to
disability equality. This will require some adaptation to existing or proposed
activities and the impact assessment process will ensure this.

Ensuring that services give due regard to disability equality may require the
University to consider, in relation to any services delivered specifically to disabled
people, whether the way in which they are delivered maximises disabled people’s
ability to exercise real choice, and promotes their equality more generally.
Because the general duty requires the University to give due regard to disability
equality in every aspect of their activities it may, depending on the nature and
remit, require the University to consider what action it can take to dismantle
attitudinal and environmental barriers within its sphere of influence. The impact
assessment process will take this into consideration.

Appendix 1 - The stages of an impact assessment

         Consultation                                                       No.
                                      1. Identify aims                                       Review
                                       of policy. Is it                     End of
                                           equality                         process         in future
         Decision                         relevant?



                                      2. Analyse available
                                      Collect further data if

                                               3. Assess
                                               impact of
                                                                            No adverse       Publish
                                                 policy                   impact. End of     results
                                                                                            review in
                             impact shown

                                          4. Mitigate adverse
                                           impact. Consider
                                             other ways of
                                            achieving same

                                             5. Consult on final

                                                                   7. Monitor for adverse
                  6. Publish impact
                                                                     impact in the future
                    assessment and
                                                                    and publish results
42                      findings

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