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Disability Equality Group (DEG)

Disability Equality Group

The University of Exeter has been a Disability Confident Employer since 2014 and has engaged with Time to Change and Mindful Employer accreditations as well.

Following on from the University's engagement in these Disability equality accreditations, the Disability Equality Group meets termly to discuss a range of disability-related issues affecting staff and students at our institution and monitor our Disability Equality Action Plan. (A PDF version of the DEG Action Plan will be published soon).

The Group is chaired by Professor Neil Gow, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Impact) and brings together academic and professional services staff, students and colleagues from the Students' Guild (Devon) and the Students' Union (Cornwall).

UEB Level Chair Professor Neil Gow
Academic Member Professor Louise Lawrence 
Academic Member Claire Lavers 
Academic Member

Kara Reilly

Students' Guild Representative 

Emma de Saram

Students' Union Representative

Kira Orchard

Disabled and Chronically Ill Network Co-Chairs

Kara Reilly

Gemma Delafield

Rachel Lennon

Cornwall Disability Network Co-Chairs

Yasmin Pullen

Molly Kressler

Dan Padfield

Neurodivergent and Disabled Student Society

Grace Poulton

Dorian Poulton

Meg Hatfield

HR Policy Team Representative Andrew Johnson
AccessAbility/Wellbeing Representative Ian Goodchild
Estates Representative Ian Millar
CIOSS Representative Peter Scargill
DCO College of Medicine and Health  Rachel Burn
Project Support Tom Caro
PPBI Representative Taylor Watson
Staff Wellbeing Representative Toni Searle/Kim McNicholl
Student Wellbeing Representative Mark Sawyer
Exeter IT Representative Jasmine Barton
HR Business Partner Andy Daniels
EDI Lead Beau Bell
EDI Advisor Lena Worwood

Current DEG priorities

Disclosure rates for disabilities are low sector wide and by increasing the visibility of disability and further demonstrating executive level support for disability inclusion we can create an environment where conversations about disability can be more open and effective. Build our inclusive culture of support within the University community, encouraging visibility and pride
Disclosure of disability is a complex subject and providing bespoke individual support can be resource intensive. Producing more accessible courses, with options on how to learn and be assessed, and clear signposting options to wellbeing will allow us to meet student needs far more effectively. Understand and feedback on wellbeing pathways and Individual Learning Plans (ILPs) to build our inclusive education activities 
Providing reasonable adjustments at interview stage is not only a legal requirement but is vital to ensuring we attract the best candidates. Providing better sign posting to support, highlighting information about reasonable adjustments, and improving accessibility in all stages of the recruitment process will allow us to remove unfairness from the recruitment process. Ensure that disabled applicants are supported, and our recruitment processes are fully accessible
Retention of disabled staff is highly reliant on their needs being met in the workplace and many organisations are supporting this through processes that allow employees to record reasonable adjustments and pass them on to new line managers. In a flexible workplace where jobs and line management structures are subject to change, this is necessary to provide safe, accessible, and therefore efficient, working environments. Create procedures to ensure disabled staff are supported when they change jobs
Line managers can require additional support to meet the needs of disabled staff including extra resources, further training, and support in creating a more open culture around conversations about disability. Improve line managers' awareness of processes related to Occupational Health and reasonable adjustments