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Disability day of action

Day of action for disability equality in education

Wednesday 4 December 2019

The Day of Action for Disability Equality in Education will be held on Wednesday 4 December 2019.  Whilst the campaign is promoted as a day of action, we know that some branches might find it easier to do action on a different day, so feel free to take action on any or all days in the week of 2-6 December 2019.

This is the second day of action and we hope it will involve a whole union approach in tackling the barriers and challenges facing disabled members at work, the impact on careers, mental and physical health and well-being, accessing reasonable adjustments in the workplace to making workplaces accessible.  The day is supported by the TUC disabled workers committee and by other education trade unions, so please contact other unions for joint action - student unions may also work with you.

Branches are encouraged to raise awareness of these issues and we suggest the following activities (below) in which discussions and actions can help further engage disabled members in seeking solutions.

I would like to thank the Disabled Members' Standing Committee (DMSC) for their work in campaigning and supporting members in working toward achieving disability equality and wish all branches a very successful day of action.

Elane Heffernan
Chair, Disabled Members' Standing Committee

NEC FE Disabled Members Rep

Read our disability day ofaction briefing here

Day of Action briefing 2019 [77kb]   Day of Action briefing 2019 large print [688kb]

Download our day of action publicity flyers here

Day of Action publicity flyer one [42kb]   Day of Action publicity flyer two [36kb]

The following actions are suggested:

  1. Nothing about us without us! - Branches should ensure that the planning of any event should and must involve disabled members.  This is important as the lived experiences of disabled members can strengthen branch organisation and participation and disabled members can feed their perspectives into all UCU campaigns, locally and nationally. 
  2. Use our disability equality resources to campaign and understand the issues facing disabled people:
    Reasonable adjustment passport [530kb]
    Making adjustments work: adjustment passport policy [197kb]
    Disclosing a disability [360kb]
    Disability awareness toolkit [276kb]
    Campaigning for accessible and inclusive workplaces [127kb]
    Enabling not disabling [372kb]
  3. Look at the barriers to disabled people in the workplace in different ways, for example, through the lens of being a disabled LGBT+ person or a disabled black person.
  4. Watch our film on the social model of disability and discuss how branches can adopt the social model
  5. Display our range of posters
    Disability equality statistics [67kb]
    Disability Day of Action Poster 1 [196kb]
    Disability Day of Action Poster 2 [231kb]
    Disability Day of Action Poster 3 [226kb]
    Disability Day of Action Poster 4 [165kb]
    Disability wall chart [4mb]
  6. Work with H&S reps to conduct risk assessments of your institution to address issues of inaccessibility
  7. Host meetings to discuss how branches can work alongside institutions to address and challenge negative stereotypes in the workplace
  8. This is an inclusive campaign - work with campus unions and student unions to raise awareness of issues
  9. Ask everyone in the branch to take a solidarity selfie and tweet support of the campaign using the hashtag #Includeus on social media platforms and upload pictures: www.ucu.org.uk/disabilityequality
  10. Share your ideas and actions with everyone eqadmin@ucu.org.uk

During Disability History Month 2018

UCU held its first day of action for disability equality in education, on 21 November 2018, which kicked off our action for Disability History Month 2018.

Initiated by UCU's Disabled Members' Standing Committee, the day of action is all about organising against discrimination and will focus on the challenges and barriers faced by disabled people in education. 

This is an inclusive campaign. We have built a coalition of organisations to work together. In particular especially our sister unions at our institutions - NEU, UNITE, UNISON and NUS—but also we are working with the TUC disabled members committee, Disabled People against the Cuts & Alliance For inclusive Education. The day culminated in a meeting in parliament.


Read our Disability Day of Action briefing [62kb] on the following four priority areas:   

  1. time limits for the implementation of reasonable adjustments
  2. a review of building regulations to ensure they meet the accessibility needs of disabled people
  3. a statutory right to disability leave
  4. the right for disabled people to access mainstream education and a reversal of cuts to SEND provision.

As part of this campaign, we are asking you to write to your MP on improving equality for disabled staff and students in education in the above areas.  Order your postcards by emailing eqadmin@ucu.org.uk

Disability Day of Action [757kb]


Day of Action for Disability Equality in Education 2018

Show your support: take a selfie with one of our posters and post using the hashtag #IncludeUs and Tweet your support to @UCUequality


Nothing about us without us!

On the day of action UCU worked with Marsha De Cordova the Labour Shadow for Disabled People, to host a parliamentary meeting to speak with cross-party MPs on improving equality for disabled staff in education. UNISON, UNITE, NEU, NUS, TUC, DPAC & ALFIE were all involved.  As part of this meeting, we called for:

  • time limits for the implementation of reasonable adjustments
  • a review of building regulations to ensure they meet the accessibility needs of disabled people

  • a statutory right to disability leave

  • the right for disabled people to access mainstream education and a reversal of cuts to SEND provision.

Getting involved

Posters
Disability equality stats [67kb] 
Day of action poster 1 [196kb]
Day of action poster 2 [231kb]
Day of action poster 3 [226kb]
Day of action poster 4 [165kb]

Members and branches are encouraged to continue to raise awareness of disability discrimination (e.g. lack of physical access, refusal of reasonable adjustments & disability leave) and to work with institutions and student union groups for increased participation and improvement of disability rights within structures, employment and access to support and services. We hope that by increasing organisation around disability discrimination we will have fewer members needing support in casework in the future and more disabled members involved and active in our branches.

Branches are encouraged to undertake any activity that encapsulates highlighting the challenges and barriers faced by disabled people, as well as the gains made, especially during Disability History Month (19 November - 22 December) and our day of action on 21 November.

Below we have outlined a few suggestions to help get the ball rolling! This includes but is not limited to:

1.  Displaying the UCU disability wall chart

2.  Hosting a meeting to discuss how branches can work alongside the institutions and campus unions and student groups to see how best disabled staff and students can be supported by:

  • involving and inviting disabled people to speak on workplace issues
  • devising an action plan of how branches can work toward raising awareness and challenge the barriers faced by disabled people
  • watch our film discussing the social model of disability and discuss how branches can adopt the social model of disability (https://youtu.be/Do6U1j1vRYU)
  • discuss how branches can challenge negative stereotypes and promote positive images of disabled people
  • establish a disabled worker network.

3.  Our social media element of the campaign, on 21 November, aims to get as many members as possible to show support in a simple, quick and effective way. Download and take a photograph with our range of selfie posters (see below) or make your own and tweet your support to @UCUequality using the hashtag #IncludeUs

  • complete and tweet the following statement 'I am supporting UCU's Day of Action for Disabled People because...'
  • help to get the hashtag #IncludeUs trending on twitter!
  • encourage colleagues to write on our 'see the person' downloadable poster the attitudes, barriers or challenges they face daily as a disabled person; or, as a non-disabled person, that they see disabled people face. 

Selfie poster: See the Person [367kb]
Selfie poster: See the Person [56kb]

Selfie poster: Supporting the campaign [474kb]
Selfie poster: Supporting the campaign [40kb]

Selfie poster: Campaign poster [76kb]
Selfie poster: Campaign poster [47kb]

You can find our disability equality resources here.

Branches can let us know what activity they will be doing as part of this campaign by sending an email to eqadmin@ucu.org.uk with details, pictures, etc.

Last updated: 6 November 2019