Supporting disabled applicants
The university’s commitment
De Montfort University is committed to providing disabled people with equality of opportunity to take part in all aspects of university life and to providing a working and learning environment that promotes dignity and respect for all and is free from discrimination. All interview panel members are trained in the university’s Recruitment and Selection Policy that enforces the university’s commitment. In line with the Equality Act (2010) the university recognises that practical adjustments, support and guidance may be required by disabled applicants throughout the recruitment process. The university has been awarded the Jobcentre Plus Disability Two Ticks Symbol, as a result of its commitment to being positive about disabled people. The university has audit procedures in place to ensure it meets its commitments; these are reviewed on an annual basis by the university’s equality and diversity committee.
What is a disability?
You may be considered disabled (for the purposes of the Equal Act) if you have a mental or physical impairment that has a substantial and long term adverse effect on your ability to carry out normal day to day activities. The University recognises that the definition of disability also includes ‘unseen’ conditions, these may include mental health conditions, cancer, heart conditions, epilepsy, diabetes, ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Additionally, conditions such as cancer and multiple sclerosis are considered a disability from the point of diagnosis, which may be before these have an overt adverse effect.
If you are unsure about whether or not you are covered by this definition you are advised to seek support from your GP or contact organisations with specialist knowledge, such as the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), the Royal National Institute of Deaf People (RNID), or other local disability groups. Please see the bottom of the page for Additional Sources of Help & Information.
If you have declared your disability on the Equal Opportunities Form (which should be completed and submitted with your application form) and you meet the essential criteria for the post, the university will guarantee you are short-listed and invited for an interview for that position.
Disabled applicants for all positions are also invited to request reasonable adjustments to support them either during the recruitment process or at interview stage. For instance, you may need a disabled person’s car parking space, a British Sign Language Interpreter or information in a different format.
If you indicate on the application form and/or equal opportunities form that you are disabled and would like reasonable adjustments made, a member of staff from the Human Resources team will be in contact with you to discuss any requirements you may have and how the university can support you.
Should you be successfully appointed to a position within the university, you will be asked to complete a medical questionnaire which is sent directly to the Occupational Health, Safety and Wellbeing Department. If you disclose a disability on the medical questionnaire a member of staff from the Department will be in contact with you to discuss your needs.
De Montfort University subscribes to DisabledGo. The People & Organisational Development Directorate is situated in the Eric Wood Building and you can find information on access to this building here:
Access to Work
Access to Work is a scheme run by Jobcentre Plus to provide practical support and advice to disabled people and their employer to help overcome work related obstacles resulting from a disability. The practical support may include contributing to funds required towards making reasonable adjustments such as:
- Adapting or providing new equipment you need at work
- Adapting your working environment to meet your needs
- Supporting your journey to work (this may include a personal support worker for your journey to and from work)
- Having the support of a communicator/interpreter.
As an employer, De Montfort University supports and encourages applications from the widest range of backgrounds. Our internal Occupational Health, Safety and Wellbeing department is available to support members of staff and their health requirements during their time at the university.
Eligibility for Access to Work
You may be eligible for Access to Work if you are:
- In a paid job
- About to start a job
- Self employed
And your disability or health condition puts obstacles in the way of you carrying out your day to day activities and your duties at work.
How to Apply
If you are about to start your role at De Montfort University and likely to be eligible for Access to Work, you will need to make the initial contact with Access to Work to inform them of your personal details. They will then send you an application form to complete and sign.
Although Access to Work requires you to make contact with them, you are also encouraged to discuss your application with your future Line Manager and/or HR Partner/Officer if you have been offered a post with us, as they will be able to provide support throughout the process, whether that be assistance with the first telephone call, completing the application form, or deciding on adjustments that will best suit your needs.
Who to Contact
The East Midlands Access to Work team:
Access to Work Operational Support Unit
377 Cowbridge Road East
Telephone: 02920 423 291
Textphone: 02920 644 886
Fax: 02920 423 342
Additional Sources of Help & Information
British Dyslexia Association Diabetes UK
Employers’ Forum on Disability (EFD) – employers’ organisation focused on disability in the workplace
Jobcentre Plus - part of the Department of Work & Pensions (http://www.dwp.gov.uk); services for people with disabilities and their employers, including the Access to Work scheme for the provision of equipment, adaptions and transport
Mencap - charity working exclusively with and for people with learning disabilities
Mind - leading mental health charity
Royal National Institute of Blind People(RNIB) - helps visually impaired people to find, keep or progress in suitable jobs
Royal National Institute of Deaf People (RNID) - advice for hearing impaired people and employers