Disability statement

Our Disability Statement

The University of Sussex Students’ Union is committed to the social model of disability, to removing barriers to access and to providing an inclusive and equitable environment that fosters an experience of the highest quality for all students, officers and staff. Accessible and inclusive provision of services, opportunities and support is central to everything we do. Students, staff and officers should expect to engage with the Students’ Union in an environment that positively encourages equality of opportunity and refuses to tolerate discrimination in any form.

The ideal of accessibility underpins this statement and everything we do. This includes not only access to the built environment, but also to information and services. An important step towards becoming more welcoming and accessible to people with disabilities is understanding that services, methods of working and the built environment may themselves be enabling or disabling.

All SU staff and officers, students, visitors and contractors and are expected to treat everyone with respect. If, however, an individual feels they have been discriminated against or harassed on the grounds of disability, they are encouraged to report the incident. 

Discrimination in recruitment, selection or employment is treated seriously by the Union and could provide grounds for disciplinary action. Furthermore, individuals who discriminate on the grounds of disability may be liable under the Equality Act 2010.

What is a disability?

The Equality Act 2010 states that a person has a disability if they have a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out day-to-day activities.

While this is not an exhaustive list, impairments covered by the Act’s definition may include:
Specific learning disabilities, such as dyslexia, dyspraxia or ADHD
Mental health conditions, such as depression, schizophrenia or personality disorders
Autism spectrum conditions
Blindness or partially sightedness
Deafness or being hard of hearing
Long-standing illnesses or health conditions, such as asthma, epilepsy or chronic fatigue syndrome
Physical impairments or mobility difficulties

Our Equality and Diversity Policy outlines which characteristics are protected by law. The Head of Campaigns and Representation is the member of staff responsible for the Union’s compliance with the Equality Act 2010.