Opportunities (Watch this space for updates)
The aim of the Disabled Staff Network (DSN) is to provide a voice within the University for staff with disabilities. We promote disability equality through active involvement and consultation on the University's plans, strategies, policies and guidance. We work with others across the University and beyond to seek solutions and to ensure the experience of disabled staff within our workplace is recognised and improved.
Can we help?
We would like to work collaboratively with you. If you have any queries that you think the DSN can help you with, please contact us via DSNetwork@manchester.ac.uk
Current matters the DSN is involved with:
Many colleagues need to take breaks during the day to manage their disabilities effectively and ensure they are working to their highest standard of performance. Some people with painful conditions need to do specific stretches, others need to lie down, administer medication or have quiet time. Seldom however, are there safe places across the University that they can use to do this.
This need was raised by the DSN at the Disability Consultative Group and separately with the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health’s Equality & Diversity Committee. The Equality & Diversity Committee suggested that a rest room in the Stopford Building (being the biggest building on campus) would be a good venue to test this scheme out as pilot. This option is currently being explored further and we are optimistic that resting rooms will become available across campus in the future.
The lack of accessible loos in public spaces has become a prominent discussion in the media. The Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) has funded the project Around the Toilet exploring the toilet as a place of exclusion and belonging. Closer to home, the DSN has been asking, “Why are some of the accessible toilets on campus kept locked?” We do realise that this is due to historical reasons, however we have been receiving reports that it can feel demeaning to a person with impairments to have to ask for a code or key to have the toilet unlocked, as well as take up people’s time. We would be keen to know your thoughts on the issue as we want to encourage a system that works for everyone.
Clarity on reasonable adjustments
“Equality law recognises that bringing about equality for disabled people may mean changing the way in which employment is structured” For example, the DSN has asked for clarification on The University’s policy with regards to part-time staff applying for fulltime posts, where they are seeking work at reduced hours as a reasonable adjustment for their disability. Human Resources has considered this request and has added it as an issue for consideration to a wider recruitment and selection review being carried out by Heather Graham (Head of HR for BMH and Recruitment Lead for the HR Directorate).
Disability Awareness Training
The Equality, Diversity & Inclusion team have identified the need to provide disability awareness training for staff at The University. The DSN is in dialogue with them about this development. We hope to feedback more as plans progress.
Access, parking and Estates
The DSN is in communication with Georgina Mills, Head of Faculty Estates at FBMH. If you have encountered any issues regarding accessibility relevant to Estates, such as parking please let us know.