Rights and responsibilities

Rights and responsibilities

Definition of disability

The Equality Act (2010) defines a disabled person as someone who has a mental or physical impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on the person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

For the purposes of the Act, these words have the following meanings:

  • 'substantial' means more than minor or trivial
  • 'Long term’ means that an impairment is likely to last for the rest of the person’s life, or has lasted at least 12 months or where the total period for which it lasts is likely to be at least 12 months. If the person no longer has the condition but it is likely to recur, they will be considered to be a disabled person.
  • 'normal day-to-day activities' include everyday things like eating, washing, walking and going shopping

This can include:

  • Conditions that affect the body such as arthritis, hearing or sight impairment (unless this is correctable by glasses or contact lenses), diabetes, asthma, epilepsy, conditions such as HIV infection, cancer and multiple sclerosis, as well as loss of limbs or the use of limbs are covered.
  • HIV infection, cancer and multiple sclerosis are covered from the point of diagnosis.
  • Severe disfigurement (such as scarring) is covered even if it has no physical impact on the person with the disfigurement, provided the long-term requirement is met (see below).
  • People who are registered as blind or partially sighted, or who are certified as being blind or partially sighted by a consultant ophthalmologist, are automatically treated as disabled under the Act.
  • Mental impairment includes conditions such as dyslexia and autism as well as learning disabilities such as Down’s syndrome and mental health conditions such as depression and schizophrenia

Disability Advice and Guidance Confidentiality Statement

Disability Advice and Guidance is committed to delivering a professional support service for disabled students and students who have additional requirements. All those receiving support from the service have the right to confidentiality in order that their interests are protected as is the legal requirement.

Read the Confidentiality Statement