Appendix D - Disability

D1          Definition of ‘disability’

Disability is defined in the Equality Act 2010.  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 their ability to carry out normal day to day activities.

In addition, the University recognises the social model of disability, which defines disability as created by barriers in society such as inaccessible buildings, stereotyping and prejudice, and inflexible policies and practices.  The University aims to eliminate such barriers for staff, students and visitors to campus.                         

D2          Supporting Infrastructure 

D2.1       For students with a disability, mental health condition, or chronic medical condition, the first point of contact will be the Disability Service.  Further information about the support provided within the University can be found on Disability Service website  Students are encouraged to register with the Disability Service as early as possible in order to maximise the potential support available.  This is particularly important if adjustments to exams are likely to be required.

D2.2       University colleagues seeking support should review the Support for Disabled & Neurodivergent Colleagues information pages and then discuss their support requirements with their line manager.  Further support may then be provided through a referral to Occupational Health and/or local People and Organisational Development (HR) teams. 

D2.3       The Disability Equality Group members have a responsibility for implementation of University strategies, policies and practices as they relate to disabled staff or students.  Its remit includes supporting and advising the University on its legal obligations, promoting cultural change, considering implications of external good practice and overseeing the implementation and further development, as necessary, of policies and practices relating to disability equality.  The group consults with relevant stakeholders as appropriate.  It reports to The Equality and Diversity Strategy Committee.

D2.4       The University maintains a dedicated email address for reporting of physical access issues on campus:

D3         Disability Confident

The University of Glasgow is a Disability Confident employer which has a guaranteed interview scheme for job vacancies.  The aims and objectives of Disability Confident are to:         

  • challenge attitudes towards disability
  • increase understanding of disability
  • remove barriers to disabled people and those with long term health conditions in employment
  • ensure that disabled people have the opportunities to fulfill their potential and realise their aspirations

D4         Reasonable Adjustments

D4.1   When shortlisted for interview, job applicants will be given the opportunity to indicate whether there are any reasonable adjustments that can be made in order for them to participate fully in the interview process.

D4.2   It is the responsibility of the Head of School, Director of Research Institute or Head of Service, with support from the appropriate Human Resources Manager, to ensure that reasonable adjustments are made for a disabled employee.  It is important that consultation is carried out with the disabled person prior to their starting work. 

D4.3   Reasonable adjustments may include amending a provision, criterion or practice, altering premises, or providing auxiliary aids.  A reasonable adjustment does not include lowering of competence standards. 

D4.4   Advice and guidance on reasonable adjustments can be obtained from the Occupational Health Unit or Disability Service. 

D4.5   Assistance with the cost of aids and equipment, alteration to premises, and personal support may be available from Disability Service, and/or via the Access to Work scheme (see further information section). 

D4.6   Disabled students should consult with Disability Service, as early as possible in their course, with regard to reasonable adjustments to enable them to participate as fully as possible in their course of study.  Examples may include assistive technology, extra time in exams or a note-taking service.  Assistance may include an application for Disabled Students Allowance to help towards the cost of any aids, services or equipment.  Further details are available on the Disability Service website. 

D4.7   Visitors to the University may also request reasonable adjustments to enable them to use the University’s facilities and services.  Depending on the nature of the visit, this may include information in alternative formats, a hearing loop system, accessibility to public events and venues, and arrangements for emergency evacuation of disabled visitors. 

D5         Staff or students who become disabled at work or study

D5.1   Every effort will be made to ensure that the staff member or student can continue in employment, or on their programme of study.  This may include reasonable adjustments, depending on the nature of the situation.  The staff member or student will be consulted fully. 

D5.2   Possible options for staff could include modification of the post, redeployment, early retirement or termination of employment on the grounds of incapacity.  Termination or early retirement can only be justifiable if the disability makes it impossible for the individual to perform the main functions of the job, and if redeployment is not practicable.

D5.3   An employee who becomes disabled at work should discuss the situation and their requirements with their Head of School, Director of Research Institute or Head of Service, or with the relevant Human Resources Manager. 

D5.4   A student who becomes disabled during their programme of study should discuss the situation and their requirements with their Adviser of Studies and the Disability Service.

D6          Carers

D6.1   Carers(26) are protected against discrimination by association (see appendix A) with the protected characteristic of disability.  The University will strive to implement policies and procedures to support staff and students who are carers.

D7         Other relevant University policies

D8        Further information and contacts(27)

D8.1       On campus

University Disability Equality Champion

University Mental Health Equality Champion

Accessibility information:

Disability Service
65 Southpark Avenue
Glasgow G12 8LE
Tel: 0141 330 5497


Residential Services
Level 1, The Fraser Building
65 Hillhead Street
Glasgow G12 8QF
Tel: 0141 330 4743
Web:  &

Occupational Health Unit
63 Oakfield Avenue
Glasgow G12 8LP
Tel: 0141 330 7171

Estates and Buildings
Tel: 0141 330 6000

Conference & Events

D8.2       External              

Access to Work
Anniesland Jobcentre Plus
Baird Street
Glasgow G90 8AN
Tel: 0141 950 5327
Textphone: 0845 602 5850

SKILL – the National Bureau for Students with Disabilities
Helpline:  0800 328 5050

LEAD Scotland – Linking Education And Disability
Tel:  0131 228 9441

For information on external organisations who can provide support to people with specific disabilities, please visit the Disability Service webpages.

 A carer is someone who has sole or shared responsibility for providing emotional or practical support to a relative, close friend or neighbour because they are ill, have a disability, are experiencing mental distress or affected by substance abuse

(27) Please also see section 10 of the policy.