A disability is any condition which impairs a person’s ability to carry out day-to-day activity for twelve months or more. Disabilities can be visible or invisible - mental ill health is an unreported but common issue. The Government's Disability Confident YouTube Channel is a useful resource for information about disability and the workplace.
In order for the College to provide the right support and facilities, we encourage staff to update their personal information, including declaration of any disability, through ICIS. For more information about this, please see the HR declaration page.
Able@Imperial is a staff network that works to promote a positive culture around disability. Open to all disabled staff, staff who support disabled dependents, and staff who have an interest in disability in the workplace, Able@Imperial is helping set priorities in the College.
Imperial also has an active Disability Action Committee committed to policy implementation and positive impact assessment. With senior management champions, this group has contributed a great deal of expertise and influence across the College. It continues to ensure we make progress at eliminating discrimination, dispelling myths about disabled people, and successfully mainstreaming good practice.
More information about disability
Examples of disabilities
A disability is any condition which impairs a person’s ability to carry out day-to-day activity for twelve months or more. The definition includes:
- sensory impairments, such as those affecting sight or hearing
- physical impairments or illnesses that affect mobility, dexterity, or control of movement, e.g. prolonged use of a wheelchair or crutches, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, or stroke
- developmental conditions, such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, or autistic spectrum disorders (ASD)
- progressive diseases, such as motor neurone disease, muscular dystrophy, forms of dementia, and lupus
- illnesses with impairments with fluctuating or recurring effects such as myalgic encephalitis [ME], chronic fatigue syndrome [CFS], fibromyalgia, sickle cell anaemia, epilepsy, and diabetes
- mental health conditions and mental illnesses, such as depression, phobic anxiety, eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorders, as well as personality disorders and some self-harming behaviours
- HIV infection
- cancer from the point of diagnosis even where there is no adverse effect on day-to-day living
- other long-term illnesses that significantly impairs a person’s ability to function, physically and/or mentally. This can be due to the effects of the illness or the effects or demands of treatment, e.g. needing to attend hospital or taking debilitating or time-consuming treatment
- facial disfigurements
This is list is not exhaustive.
Some specific impairments are excluded from the definition of disability. Those which could be relevant in employment include:
- addictions, other than as a result of the substance being medicinally prescribed, e.g. alcoholism, drug dependency, or smoking addiction
- deliberately inflicted disfigurements such as tattoos which have not been removed, skin piercing, and something attached through such piercing
- seasonal allergic rhinitis (e.g. hay fever), except where it aggravates the effect of another impairment such as unstable asthma or severe chronic irreversible airflow limitation
- problems with standard vision, corrected by contact lenses or spectacles
Addition information on disabilities
The following organisations may be helpful in learning more about specific disabilities.
Key dates related to disability
Support for Long Term Conditions
Arthritis Research UK; http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org
Breast Cancer Support; http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk
British Heart Foundation; http://www.bhf.org.uk
Changing Faces; http://www.changingfaces.org.uk
Diabetes UK; http://www.diabetes.org.uk
Epilepsy Action; http://www.epilepsy.org.uk
Lupus UK; http://www.lupusuk.org.uk/
Macmillan Cancer Support; http://www.macmillan.org.uk
The ME Association; http://www.meassociation.org.uk
National Aids Trust; http://www.nat.org.uk
Terence Higgins Trust; http://www.tht.org.uk
Stroke Association; http://www.stroke.org.uk
Support for Sensory Impairments
Action on Hearing Loss (RNID); http://www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk
Support for Specific Learning Difficulties
The British Dyslexia Association; http://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk
Dyspraxia Foundation; http://www.dyspraxiafoundation.org.uk
Anxiety UK; http://www.anxietyuk.org.uk
Time to Change; http://www.time-to-change.org.uk
Disability History Month
UK Disability History Month takes place annually from 22 November to 22 December, creating a platform to focus on the history of disabled people, the struggle for equality and to raise awareness. In the past we have run additional training sessions, events and lectures to celebrate the Month at Imperial.
Mental Health Awareness Week
The 11-17 May is Mental Health Awareness Week. The aim is to get people to talk more openly about the issues that surround mental health and to raise awareness of the issues. It is also a time to get people thinking about their own mental wellbeing.