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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).

Chair - Michael Wykes 

Academic member - Louise Lawrence  

Academic member - Claire Lavers 

Academic member - Katherine Ashbullby 

Faculty WICC Representative ESE - Julie Pepper 

Faculty WICC Representative HASS - vacant

Faculty WICC Representative HLS - vacant

Student Guild representative - Mia Robillard-Day 

Students’ Union representative - vacant

Disability and Chronically Ill Network Representative - Kara Reilly/Holly Mammola/Leanne Heath/Laura Salisbury 

Cornwall Disability Network Representative - Yazmin Pullen/Dan Padfield/Molly Kressler 

Neurodivergent and Disabled Student Society - As required

HR Policy team representative - Sandra McArthur 

AccessAbility/Wellbeing representative - Ian Goodchild/Jessica Rourke 

Estates representative - Ian Millar 

CIOSS representative - Peter Scargill 

Project support - Sandip Samra 

Disability Lead EDI/OH - Beau Bell 

EDI Advisor - Lena Worwood 

Academic Development - Rachel Griffiths 

Student Wellbeing Representative - Kirsty Grant 

Exeter IT representative - Sarah Menhennett 

FX+ - Katrina Jolly/Catherine Eustace/Nikki Brown 

HR Business Partner - Becky Coote 

CIOSS - Helen Wallace 

Trade Union - Allison Black 

Occupational Health - Karen Markes 

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