What is a disability?
The Equality Act 2010, Section 6 gives the definition of disability as follows:
‘A person has a disability if they have a physical or mental impairment, and the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day to day activities’.
Schedule 1 determines that impairment is long-term if it has lasted at least 12 months, it is likely to last at least 12 months or, it is likely to last for the rest of the life of the person.
The ‘Social Model’ of disability, first proposed by Mike Oliver in 1990 states :
“It is not individual limitations, of whatever kind, which are the cause of the problem, but society’s failure to provide appropriate services and adequately ensure the needs of disabled people are fully taken into account in its social organisation”.
The Equality Act 2010 places a duty upon Institutions such as those providing Higher Education to be anticipatory in their provision to visitors and students as well as being responsive to individual needs of disabled visitors, students and staff. As well as inclusivity and accessibility issues being considered in the review of the delivery of services and teaching within the College, there is funding for individual staff and students to put support in place, to ensure they can access the tasks they undertake.