Encouraging disability disclosure
The University of Ulster has a proactive, multi-layered approach to encouraging declaration. Potential staff are asked to declare reasonable adjustment requirements on application forms, and are asked to contact the university if they need assistance in completing the application form. Applicants are also asked to complete an equal opportunities form, which includes a question about disability.
Existing staff can visit the online portal at any time to amend their own records. The equality and diversity team contact line managers and urge them to encourage staff who do not use computers (and therefore do not have access to the portal) to use a paper-based declaration form.
Every three years, the university runs a staff survey on staff disability, which is publicised via emails to all staff, articles in the university magazine, messages to line managers asking them to pass on information at staff briefings, and hard copies and posters. The purpose of the survey is made clear – that it is not just to count numbers of disabled staff, but to inform disabled staff about the university’s legal responsibility and that they may be entitled to reasonable adjustments they had not previously considered. The university also has staff declaration forms for staff wishing to declare a disability.