The Day of Action  involved a whole union approach in tackling the barriers and challenges facing disabled members at work, the impact on careers, mental and physical health and well-being, accessing reasonable adjustments in the workplace to making workplaces accessible. 

Action for disabled workers is based upon the social model of disability  which focuses on the ways in which society is organised, and the social and institutional barriers which restrict peoples opportunities. 

The social model sees the person first and argues that the barriers they face, in combination with their impairments, are what disables them.  Removing these barriers is the best way to include millions of disabled people in our society.

Teacher reading to a boy in a wheelchair

Principles of disability Inclusion

  1. Use social model of disability
  2. Respect and promotion of rights
  3. Equality and opportunity of treatment

Disability equality - the facts

  • 13.9 million people reported a disability in 2016/17
  • Disabled people aged 16-18 are at least twice as likely as their non-disabled peers not to be in education, employment or training
  • Since August 2015 the Government has made £30m cuts to the Disability Support Allowance-this has made it harder for students with additional needs to access FE and HE
  • Off-rolling figures (EPI report on SEND) – 1:7 pupils ever identified with SEND have experienced an unexplained exit from school

Practical tips on disability inclusion 

Talk about disability inclusion to:

  • Colleagues
  • Workplace rep
  • Health and safety workplace rep or branch officer
  • Equality rep

Listen to disabled:

  • Colleagues
  • Pupils
  • Parents/carers

Take action:

  • Visit the UCU Disability Day of Action website
  • Take a selfie and tweeting it at #includeus
  • Think about the ways in which your school is already disability inclusive
  • Think about what else you could do to make it more disability inclusive using the principles of inclusion and listening to disabled workers, pupils and their parents.