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Confidentiality and disclosure

Disclosing a disability to the University

It is up to you whether or not you tell the University that you are disabled.  However, the University is working hard to create an environment in which staff feel happy to disclose their disability.

Benefits of disclosing a disability

Telling the University is really important if you might need any adjustments to carry out your job.  It will be very difficult, and in many cases, impossible, for the University to provide these adjustments if you do not tell us.

In addition, telling us can help the University to improve the way it works with disabled staff – for example, it can help us assess the impact of University practices on disabled staff

Disclosing to the appropriate person

You may have told the University that you were disabled when you accepted your job here, by ticking the relevant box on your monitoring form. 

However, as this information is confidential, and used for monitoring only, this will not usually prompt a discussion about adjustments that you might need.

If you feel you may require any adjustments, you can contact the Staff Disability Adviser for an informal, confidential discussion.  You can also contact them if you simply want to notify the University you are disabled, without necessarily requesting any adjustments.  

If you prefer not to do this you can contact your line manager or:

Disclosing for Health and Safety reasons

In rare circumstances, you may also need to think about whether there might be any particular health and safety implications for you, or the people you work with – for example, if you are likely to encounter difficulties with fire evacuation. 

If the University doesn’t know about these, it will not be possible to put in place any additional training or support required to protect employees’ safety at work. 

Of course, in the vast majority of cases, there is no reason why a disabled member of staff should present any greater health and safety risks than a non-disabled staff member. 

If you need more information or advice about health and safety issues, you can contact:

Confidentiality when disclosing to the DSO

All members of staff who decide to register with the DSO for support are asked to sign a confidentiality form, which the Disability Adviser (staff) will talk through with you. This allows you to control the information that we pass on to other people very precisely. 

You should remember however, that if you limit confidentiality too much, it can be difficult for us to make adjustments in work

All the records of contact with individual members of staff are stored electronically on the DSO’s own separate database and in paper files.  Only DSO employees working with disabled staff have access to this database.