The College aims to create opportunities for students and staff to achieve their personal, educational and employment goals. To achieve this, the College works to provide a learning environment, which supports the learning needs of all individuals including those with disabilities and/or learning difficulties and to explain what facilities and support is available to employees/students with disabilities.
This policy covers both staff and students but due to the differing procedures for each group the procedures will be listed separately.
The College has a duty to promote disability equality. The College seeks to be an employer of choice for motivated employees who will help the College to be an excellent provider of educational opportunities.
The College recognises that disability should not in itself be viewed as a barrier to employees’ ability to provide good service to the College. These procedures apply to all staff.
The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 also apply to the College.
Roles and Responsibilities
- The Management is responsible for ensuring that premises and facilities are accessible and meet the needs of students and staff.
- All Staff have a duty to ensure that the needs of the students to access the curriculum are met.
- Students have the responsibility to inform the College of any needs they may have and for adhering to the policy.
Definition of Disability
- Under the Act a person is disabled if they have a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. This would include such things as using a telephone, reading a book, or using public transport.
Empire College London complies with this legislative definition, and it also defines disability as the loss or limitation of opportunities that prevent people who have impairments from taking part in the life of the community as equal, due to physical and social barriers.
The following are covered under this definition:
- Physical and sensory impairments
- Specific learning difficulties
- Autistic spectrum disorders
- Mental health issues
- Severe disfigurements
- Anyone with an HIV infection, cancer or multiple sclerosis
- Progressive conditions that affect normal day-to-day activities, including long term physical health issues
On application and at enrolment all students with a disability are invited by the College to discuss individual needs and to establish how the College can support them during their programme of study. Any special requirements are discussed at this time and the facilities that the college can provide are made clear to the prospective learner.
Students must let the College know if they may need support prior to the start of enrolment.
Examinations and Assessments Arrangements
Examination Boards/Awarding Bodies set the limits to the support and considerations which the College can make when taking examinations and other assessments. It is important that a student tells the College about any examination arrangements or considerations which they may have had in the past or about any that might be needed for their course. Students need to do this at the time their support needs are discussed and agreed.
This will enable the College to show the Examination Boards that the support the student receives and their usual methods of working for the course will be the same as for examinations.
If tutors know that students need support or exam and assessment arrangements they should contact the Head of Studies.
The type of support which can be arranged according to personal requirements includes:
- Extra time during the examination
- Appropriate rooming arrangements
- Individual room with a separate invigilator
- Person to read the questions to you
- Person to write down your answers
- Modified text
- Large print papers
- Braille papers
- Use of a computer or other technology to assist
Physical Access and Facilities
The College has a strategy to upgrade access to buildings and facilities
The following are available:
- Ramp entrance to the building
- Lift access on all floors
- Accessible toilet facilities
- Nearby access to major bus and train routes
The College is working with an organisation that has relevant background and expertise that is able to provide support in the following areas if needed:
- Moderate learning difficulties
- Severe learning difficulties
- Emotional and behavioural difficulties
- Mental health problems
- Physical disability
- Disability arising from a medical condition
Support on a student’s learning programme may be one or a combination of the following:
- One-to-one support sessions
- Working in smaller groups
- Supported learning programmes
- Specialist assessment
- Advice / support to course tutors
- Literacy /Numeracy or Language Support
English Language support
A great benefit for our international students is the provision of English classes to support subject learning. These courses enable international students to improve their English language skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking.
Equipment and Technological Support
The College will provide a range of equipment and technical aids to support students. Computers – for word processing, spreadsheets, desktop publishing and for finding information.
Proposed future improvements
The College is also willing to purchase further equipment to help in the delivery of programmes to suit students with disabilities where appropriate. The equipment may include the following taking into account current student numbers:
- Minicom facility
- Induction loop system -Lecture Theatre Robert Brown Building
- Two portable induction loop systems for classrooms
- Two portable neck loop systems
- Alternative keyboards
- Perkins Braille Machine
Induction week and Induction packs for students will explain what students can do if things go wrong. It outlines the College procedures which enable a student to take action if difficulties or problems arise.
The College Support Team can help with information and advice. The team will help if personal problems interfere with a student’s studies. The support team is available to talk on an individual basis in confidence and are able to offer support and advice in those areas where they have expertise and will provide students with information on organisations if professional support is required.
Recruitment and Selection
All job vacancies have a job description and person specification. Recruitment and selection will be based upon candidates’ ability to meet the person specification for the particular job they are applying for and all the essential criteria.
All staff will also be asked at the job offer stage if they have a disability and require any support. That staff who declare a disability at this stage will then be asked what they consider their own support needs to be.
Staff who become disabled and declare it during their period of employment at the College will have the opportunity of a meeting with the member of Management, to discuss what adjustments may be required. The College will seek to help employees remain in employment on becoming disabled.
Staff development opportunities are available for staff based upon the requirements of their job. No discrimination will take place due to an employee’s disability.
Alterations may be made for disabled staff in respect of:
- Seating e.g. near the front of events for those staff who are hard of hearing
- Materials e.g. may be supplied in larger font for those who have visual impairments
- Travel arrangements for external events e.g. car mileage may be paid where train fares would usually be paid.
- Signing arrangements for staff with a hearing disability
Disabled staff will have the opportunity at their appraisal to discuss what needs to be done to make sure they can develop and use their abilities.
Should a member of staff be unhappy with any areas within their role they have the opportunity to discuss the issue informally with management.
This policy will be available to all staff and students at the time of Induction.
Last updated and reviewed: January 2017