Accessibility means that everyone should have an equal opportunity to be involved in or use something regardless of whether they experience a disability. A disability-inclusive workplace should include both physical accessibility, such as wheelchair ramps and braille signage, and digital accessibility where technology is accessible for all and is compatible with assistive technology devices.
Cognitive function refers to a range of mental processes that allow us to carry out any task through the acquisition, storage, manipulation and retrieval of information. The most common type of disabilities in the UK and globally are those which affect cognitive function.
The Disability Confident scheme, organised by the UK government, encourages employers to think differently about disability and actively improve how they recruit, retain and develop disabled employees. Employers keen to sign up to the Disability Confident scheme can do so via the government website.
Mental health condition
Mental health refers to our emotional, psychological and social well-being. Some people may experience difficulties with their mental health; this includes problems with their mood, emotions and behaviour. A mental health condition is considered to be a disability if it has a long-term (≥12 months) impact on a person’s daily life. Many mental health conditions can lead to disability, including depression, dementia, bipolar and schizophrenia.
Non-visible disabilities, sometimes referred to as invisible or hidden disabilities, describe a range of disabilities that are not immediately apparent to others. Non-visible disabilities include chronic illnesses that affect daily life, such as renal failure or a sleep disorder, and neurological-based disabilities, such as a learning disability.
Reasonable adjustments are changes implemented by an employer to help accommodate their employee’s disability in the workplace, or a candidate’s disability during the application process. It is a legal requirement for employers to consider making reasonable adjustments to help ensure their employee can effectively manage their disability and perform their duties without unnecessary barriers in the workplace.
Visible disabilities are those that can be seen or is obvious to others. Visible disabilities include all disabilities that outwardly shows the person has a disability. This includes people that use a wheelchair, a mobility aid or require a guide dog.
Discrimination in the workplace occurs when an employer has certain prejudices or treats someone unfavourable because of their disability, gender, race, sexuality or religion. Discrimination based on any of these factors is illegal. If you need support or what to find out more, visit our dedicated pages on your rights as a disabled employee.
Diversity in the workplace means that an organisation recruits a wide range of diverse individuals. Diversity applies to people with disabilities as well as gender, race, age, sexuality, and social background. Diversity in the workplace is essential for inclusivity, but companies also recognise the significant value that hiring a diverse range of individuals and personalities can add to their business.