Disability Confident is a government initiative which aims to enable employers to engage proactively with disabilities and to improve the recruitment and retention of disabled workers for their skills and talent.

The scheme has three levels of commitment, each requiring additional commitment and evidence of action than the preceding level. The official accreditation of Level 3 ‘leader’, the most advanced level, was first achieved in 2020.

As a Disability Confident Leader, we are committed to disability equality and a positive approach towards disability, challenging negative attitudes and ensuring that all staff can achieve their potential.

Jane Forrest from Seetec Pluss was our external validator and assessed our renewal application, reflecting on the quality of our self-assessment and what has been achieved to date:

I was blown away and impressed with all the progressive good work you have been doing to make the University more welcoming and inclusive for all.

Prof Rajani Naidoo, Vice-President Community and Inclusion:

I would like to say a big thank you and well done to all the colleagues involved in the renewal submission, the work carried out will have an institution-wide impact for our community. University’s senior team is incredibly pleased to have renewed our Disability Confident Leader Level status until 2026. It’s an important piece of work that reinforces our commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, specifically in relation to disability, mental health and neurodiversity.

What does this mean for me?

As part of our Disability Confident self-assessment, we identified actions that will further support inclusion of people with disabilities and ensure we have a co-ordinated approach addressing issues, such as:

  • continued improvements in the accessibility of the University’s physical and digital infrastructure
  • promoting better understanding of 'hidden' disabilities (e.g. neurodiversity, hearing and visual impairments)
  • promoting good practices (e.g. the aFLAME Disability Network for Staff and PGR students, Neurodiversity booklet)
  • ensuring consistency of availability of support services across the University

Richard Brooks, Director of HR:

Ensuring that we recruit, retain and develop diverse talent is immensely important to our University, and the recommendations drawn from our independent validation will allow us to further develop our recruitment processes to be even more inclusive for candidates with disabilities and once appointed, support retention and further development. We are absolutely delighted that our striving to keep our inclusive practice around Disability at the very highest level has been recognised by our assessors.