From experience, we know that some students or prospective students are reluctant to disclose a disability because they fear that it might prejudice their application or result in them being treated differently by university staff. This is particularly the case for students with mental health difficulties and those with sensitive personal care issues.
However, under part IV of the Disability Discrimination Act, it is illegal for a university to discriminate against a student or prospective student for a reason associated with a disability, and if you choose not to disclose, the university would not be legally obliged to make adjustments to support you.
If you want to discuss the implications of disclosing a disability before making a decision about whether to formally disclose, you can arrange to see a Learning Development Adviser who will be able to advise you in complete confidence to help you to make your decision.
There are many benefits to disclosure, but if you decide that you would prefer not to formally disclose and request that the information concerning your disability remains confidential, it would not be passed on to other staff in the university.
Although we would normally encourage students to disclose so that they can access the additional support that they are entitled to, we fully respect any student's right not to do so.
Under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA 1995), a person is considered to be disabled if they have a 'physical or mental impairment which has a
3. and long term [i.e. lasting, or expected to last, for 12 months or more] effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities'.
In the context of Higher Education this definition includes a person with dyslexia or other specific learning difficulties.
If you are unsure about whether or not you would be considered disabled, an adviser in Learner Development will be able to advise you, in confidence. If you would prefer to discuss this with someone outside of the University, you can contact the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
Part IV of the DDA places four duties on educational institutions:
1. to anticipate the needs of disabled students
2. not to treat disabled students less favourably for a reason relating to their disability
3. to make reasonable adjustments for disabled students
4. to provide any necessary auxiliary aids and services
From September 2005 universities have had a new duty to ensure that the physical environment is fully accessible to disabled people. At MMU many changes have already been made to improve access for disabled people.
In October 2010 the Equality Act became law. It replaces previous legislation, such as the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.The Equality Act 2010 aims to protect disabled people and prevent disability discrimination. It provides legal rights for disabled people in areas including education. For more information please see the EHRC (Equalities and Human Rights Commission’s website: http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/legal-and-policy/equality-act/