To access the specific support available, disabled teachers need to decide whether to disclose their disability to their colleagues and management, especially if the disability is not visible.
Telling people about your disability is a personal choice. The advantage of disclosure is that it allows support and reasonable adjustments to be put in place, and provides you with protection under the Equality Act 2010. In addition, specialist equipment, extra funding, support, and the right training programme can help you achieve your ambition.
Before starting initial teacher training (ITT), applicants may be asked to complete a declaration of health questionnaire and be assessed by an occupational health adviser. However, please be assured that any information about disability is protected by the Equality Act 2010 and the Data Protection Act 1998. It is sensitive personal data and cannot be passed on to other people without your permission.
Support in the workplace
Under the Equality Act 2010, employers have to make reasonable adjustments for disabled teachers. They are expected to provide support and make changes to the workplace to help you do your job.
Common reasonable adjustments include:
- making modifications to buildings
- offering flexible working hours
- providing specialist equipment
You can reassure schools that costs won't be a problem by telling them about Access to Work. Access to Work is run by Jobcentre Plus. Not many schools know about the scheme, but it can help in a number of ways, for example by paying towards:
- communication support at interviews
- support workers
- travel to work, which can include taxi fares
- disability awareness training for your school colleagues