Aiding progress for disabled

14th March 2008 at 00:00

Your report (Disabled staff discrimination "widespread," FE Focus, March 7) summarised many of the findings and recommendations of the final report of the commission for disabled staff in lifelong learning.

As reported, one obstruction to greater progress in tackling discrimination has been the unwillingness of many disabled staff to disclose their disability because they fear damage to their career prospects.

Failure to disclose a disability often means that they forego possible adaptations to their working environment which could enhance their capacities and confidence and which would improve their security and prospects.

The solution is for employers to create an environment in which disabled staff will be confident that disclosure will lead to a positive outcome.

It is also important for employers to adopt a major recommendation of the commission and separate "sick leave" from medical appointments or leave needed to allow staff to make adjustments for their disability.

Kate Heasman, Equality official, University and College Union, London WC1.

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