Disability Equality Scheme

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					                FINAL APPROVED VERSION: DECEMBER 2009.




        Keele University Disability
            Equality Scheme

                        2010-2013.




If you require this publication in an alternative format please
contact Jenny Ratcliffe (j.l.ratcliffe@uso.keele.ac.uk or by calling
01782 734403) to discuss your needs.


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                        FINAL APPROVED VERSION: DECEMBER 2009.


   INTRODUCTION
1. Keele University is deeply committed to ensuring equality of opportunity for all staff,
   students and stakeholders, and this Disability Equality Scheme builds on the
   successes and firm foundations put in place and reinforced by the first Disability
   Equality Scheme. During the lifetime of the first Disability Equality Scheme
   significant progress has been made in meeting the initial nine core objectives:
        Consultation, communication and engagement with people with disabilities.
        Staff training and development with regards to disability issues.
        Data collection methods.
        Student admissions and access.
        Delivering and developing support and guidance to students with disabilities.
        Embedding disability equality into teaching and assessment.
        Assessing and changing the physical environment to enable better access.
        Promoting best practice and equality within recruitment and selection and
           staff retention.
        Developing and delivering an Equality Impact Assessment procedure.

2. This Disability Equality Scheme has been designed in a manner which emphasises
   the synergies with the University Strategic Map 2010-2015. Underpinned by
   Disability Equality legislative duties, the Disability Equality Scheme has at its heart a
   focus on eliminating unlawful discrimination and harassment, promoting equality of
   opportunity and positive attitudes and environments, encouraging participation and
   taking steps to meet the needs of all staff, students and stakeholders. This positive
   and enabling focus in the Disability Equality Scheme clearly supports the University’s
   mission to be the UK’s leading open, integrated, intellectual community – the ultimate
   campus University for the 21st Century. Furthermore both the University’s core
   mission and the Disability Equality Scheme are strongly underpinned by the
   University’s core values as a diverse, inclusive and professional academic
   community that respects individuals and enables them to strive for success in order
   to contribute positively and sustainably to the local region, wider society and the
   national economy.

3. The 2010-2015 Strategic Plan reflects the fact that, as a campus university, Keele
   University not only has a strong reputation in academic delivery, and research and
   enterprise, but also a significant commercial and community focus capitalising on the
   University’s sizeable estate. This diverse business focus for Keele University means
   that it is not only students and staff but also a variety of other stakeholders –
   including amongst others Science Park employees, commercial clients or other
   customers and visitors to the campus – who are included in the focus of this
   Disability Equality Scheme.



   SCOPE OF THE SCHEME
4. In producing this second iteration of the Disability Equality Scheme, Keele University
   continues to strive to deliver against the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995
   General Duties to promote disability equality by:
        eliminating unlawful discrimination and harassment
        promoting equality of opportunity
        promoting positive attitudes towards people with a disability
        encouraging participation of people with a disability in public life

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          taking steps to meet the needs of people with a disability, even if this requires
           more favourable treatment

5. In developing this Disability Equality Scheme Keele University recognises that it must
   continue to meet the needs and priorities of our staff, students and stakeholders with
   disabilities as well as complying with the overarching duties which are in place. In
   addition to the priorities associated with the specific categories of staff, students and
   stakeholders, there are further more generic priorities which have a wider application
   across one of more of these three distinct categories. These include cross-cutting
   priorities around management and practice development, communication and
   engagement, accessibility of the campus estate and facilities, information
   management, and equality impact assessment. Cumulatively these commitments
   comprise the structural foundations for the Disability Equality Scheme and associated
   Action Plan for 2010-2013.



   KEY ONGOING DELIVERABLES AND REQUIREMENTS OF THE DISABILITY
   DISCRIMINATION ACT 2005 SPECIFIC DUTIES

6. In developing and implementing both the first and second Disability Equality
   Schemes, Keele University is required by law to deliver against a number of Specific
   Duties which feed into the broader requirements of the General Duties. These
   Specific Duties include:

   Publishing a Disability Equality Scheme with a three year action plan
7. It is essential that the Disability Equality Scheme and action plan are available to the
   broadest possible range of Keele University’s staff, students and stakeholders.
   Accordingly, these have been published electronically via the University website and
   requests received for alternative accessible formats will be considered.

   Showing how people with a disability have been involved in developing the
   scheme
8. Keele University recognises that disabled people know, better than anyone, the
   barriers and challenges they face and what can be done to promote equality of
   opportunity. Accordingly a wide variety of people have been involved during the
   development of this Disability Equality Scheme, including staff, students and
   stakeholders with disabilities. To provide maximum opportunity for involvement a
   number of different approaches have been taken, including drop-in sessions, forums,
   on-line questionnaires, discussion items at various committee meetings, email
   feedback options, informal engagement and one-to-one meetings with staff, students
   and selected external stakeholders. This diverse and multi-faceted approach to
   consultation and engagement will continue during the lifetime of the second Disability
   Equality Scheme.

   Equality impact assessment - developing methods for assessing the likely or
   actual impact of policies and practices on people with a disability
9. In order to identify and manage impact on people with disabilities arising from Keele
   University policy and practice, an Equality Impact Assessment process and
   comprehensive supporting guidance have been produced. A number of Equality
   Impact Assessments have already been conducted on priority policy and practice
   issues, and Keele University will continue to identify priority areas for Equality Impact
   Assessment. To support this programme of work, staff will continue to be provided

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   with training and development in planning and conducting Equality Impact
   Assessments.

    Setting out arrangements for gathering information on the effect of policies
    and practices on people with a disability
10. Information collection and monitoring are essential in determining the effects of
    policies and practices on staff, students or stakeholders with disabilities. Adopting a
    multi-strand approach to information collection and reporting helps identify areas of
    good practice and areas in need of further support and/or development. The
    importance of informed policy and practice development was clearly recognised
    during the lifetime of the original Disability Equality Scheme and as a consequence
    the collection and monitoring of equality and diversity data has been strengthened
    and enhanced significantly. This forms a strong basis for further information
    gathering and monitoring in going forward with the second Disability Equality
    Scheme.

    Monitoring, checking and reporting annually on steps taken to meet the
    Disability Discrimination Act 2005 General and Specific Duties
11. Keele University recognises annual reporting as a key mechanism for reviewing
    progress made against the Disability Equality Scheme action plan, recognising areas
    for continued focused effort, setting future objectives, and demonstrating the
    University’s ongoing commitment to disability equality to students, staff and
    stakeholders. Annual reports will be published during the lifetime of the second
    Disability Equality Scheme to continue in monitoring, reviewing and reporting
    successes and ongoing challenges.



    STATEMENT ON PROGRESS TO DATE
12. Ensuring that the University meets its commitment to achieving and promoting
    equality for all staff, students and stakeholders is an ongoing and significant
    undertaking. There are numerous specific areas of policy and practice in which the
    University has made significant progress in respect of disability equality issues.
    However, the very fact that this is an ongoing commitment means that a number of
    areas require further work and continued effort to ensure that disability equality is
    embedded and sustained. Some particular achievements which the University will
    continue to build on over the course of the second Disability Equality Scheme
    include:

13. Staff training and development: the suite of staff training and development
    sessions has been modified and significantly enhanced. Disability and broader
    equality and diversity related issues and topics have been integrated with other
    practice and management development sessions. A suite of stand alone equality
    and diversity and disability related development sessions for staff has also been
    created.

14. Data collection and monitoring: Keele University has significantly strengthened
    and enhanced data collection and monitoring mechanisms during the first Disability
    Equality Scheme. Data collection and monitoring fields have been increased, data
    cleansing systems have been implemented and mechanisms for re-surveying staff on
    disability and other equality and diversity data have been established to support the
    quality and accuracy of data held. There is now also a dedicated task group within
    HR with a focus on enhancing the collection, monitoring and application in practice of
    equality and diversity data, including disability related data.

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15. Delivering and developing support and guidance to students with disabilities:
    the Centre for Learning and Student Support continues to play a significant and
    essential role in providing a wide range of support, advice and information to
    students with disabilities. In addition during the course of the first Disability Equality
    Scheme a number of roles have been extended and further roles have been put in
    place with a partial remit for contributing to the enabling, supporting and integration of
    students with disabilities. This includes the introduction of Disability Liaison Officers,
    Personal Tutors, and Residential Managers all of whom contribute to enhancing the
    overall student experience for students with disabilities. This approach to shared
    responsibility for student support and guidance has significantly improved the
    dissemination of expertise in disability equality to enable targeted and effective local
    management of disability related issues.

16. Embedding disability equality into teaching and assessment: the development of
    the Learning and Teaching Strategy for 2007-2010 integrated principles around
    widening participation and enhancing equality and diversity throughout the core goals
    identified in progressing and directing learning and teaching at Keele University. The
    Centre for Learning and Student Support continue to play an integral role in
    facilitating the development of individual student support plans and assessing and
    making arrangements for reasonable adjustments and assistive technologies to be
    provided. The Learning Development Unit has played a key role over the past three
    years in enhancing learning and teaching practice in respect of disability-related
    awareness and best practice. Some key outputs include an inclusivity checklist for
    use in planning, delivering and supporting teaching practice; the implementation of a
    curriculum inclusivity audit which covers the elements of programme enrolment and
    induction, infrastructure, teaching and learning, and evaluation.

17. Estates and facilities management: the Commercial and Facilities Management
    Directorate has undertaken an extensive and ongoing rolling programme of work to
    improve accessibility of the estate covering a variety of different provisions all across
    the campus, including external ramps and footpaths, external and internal power
    assisted doors, lifts and stairlifts, disabled toilets, student accommodation rooms
    designed for particular disability needs, installation of induction loops and deaf
    alerters, upgrading external lighting and introducing tactile paving.

18. Promoting best practice and equality within recruitment and selection and staff
    retention: the framework for implementing, managing and monitoring good
    recruitment, selection and retention practice has been significantly enhanced during
    the lifetime of the first Disability Equality Scheme. The mandatory recruitment and
    selection training has been reviewed and enhanced to ensure that disability and
    other equality and diversity issues are fully integrated, and a further suite of staff
    development sessions have been introduced to support staff and managers in
    responding to management issues which may need specific consideration in the
    context of staff with disabilities – for example, management of sickness absence. A
    suite of management information reports are now produced to monitor recruitment
    and selection outcomes and initiate further action as required; the equal opportunities
    monitoring mechanisms have been improved and enhanced at the point of
    recruitment and are now supported with an additional biennial staff re-survey to
    ensure data accuracy once in employment; the staff leavers form has been reviewed
    and enhanced to ensure that we are capturing and responding to data about key
    retention issues which may relate to equality and diversity issues such as disability.




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    ACTION PLANNING
19. The University of Keele has achieved significant progress during the implementation
    of the first Disability Equality Scheme. However, work will continue around the
    following areas:
          Management and Practice Development: Enhancing practice to support a
             holistic delivery approach and further developing management of disability
             related issues across multiple services and practice areas.
          Communication and Engagement: Enhancing communication, consultation
             and engagement, including embedding reporting and committee structures,
             staff development, and approaches to increase dialogue.
          Accessibility: Continuing the focus on assessing and improving the physical
             environment at Keele University to enable better access.
          Information Management: Enhancing disability-related information collection
             and monitoring to feed into continuous improvements in policy and practice.
          Equality Impact Assessment (EIA): Continuing rolling out EIA processes as
             part of Keele’s commitment to ensuring policy/practice does not adversely
             affect staff/students/stakeholders.

20. This work will focus around students, staff and wider stakeholder activities. A refined
    action plan, based on further consultation with key groups will be agreed by the end
    of February 2010.




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