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CHAS Disability Working Group

The CHAS Disability Working Group is a sub-committee of the CHAS EDI committee established in 2021. In line with the university policy on Supporting the Employment of Persons with Disabilities, the group aims to create a culture where employees feel encouraged and comfortable to disclose their disability status. 

The University is committed to providing an inclusive environment in which all members of our University community should expect to be able to thrive. It is committed to taking proactive steps to ensure its workplace culture supports employees with disabilities to feel confident and comfortable to disclose disabilities so that supports can be provided to enable employees to thrive at work. The University seeks to create an affirmative and inclusive culture for employees who have or acquire disabilities during their working life.

Did you know? 
  • The University has a Campus Accessibility Officer to advise and guide the University in its duties under the Disability Act 2005
  • Not all disabilities are visible. Disability includes; Chronic back pain , Cancer, Crohn’s disease, Anxiety, Multiple sclerosis, Fibromyalgia, Heart disease, and Long Term Illness, for example.
  • Under the Employment Equality Acts, employers are obliged to provide reasonable accommodation for employees. Reasonable accommodation can mean some modification to tasks or the structure of a job or the workplace which allows a qualified employee with a disability to do their job and enjoy equal employment opportunities.

The working group is an interdisciplinary group with membership from across the College, chaired by Dr Jeffrey Glennon. Membership for 2022/23 is:

  • Dr Jeffrey Glennon, School of Medicine
  • Dr Deirdre O’Connor, School of Agriculture and Food Science
  • Dr Tom Flanagan, School of Medicine
  • Emma Golding, School of Veterinary Medicine
  • Beth Kilkenny, College of Health and Agricultural Sciences

The university provides a range of supports for staff with disabilities. 

  • Campus Accessibility Officer: Link
  • Disability Supports webpage: Link
  • Disability Sub-Group: Link
  • Staff Disability Network: Link

In a recent university EDI survey, line managers reported not feeling equipped or having sufficient knowledge to support staff and team members with disabilities. In response to this, in Trimester 1 2022, the college is taking part in a pilot programme to roll out training for line managers on the reasonable accommodation process.  

Reasonable accommodation (RA) can mean some modification to tasks or the structure of a job or the workplace which allows a qualified employee with a disability to do their job and enjoy equal employment opportunities. You can find out more about the Reasonable Accommodation process at this link: Reasonable Accommodation

Examples of reasonable accommodations

  • Physical workplace adjustments:
    • Ergonomic workstations such as desks and chairs
    • Adaptive workplace lighting
    • Modifying the layout of a workspace
    • Sensory areas
    • Accessible and assistive technologies:
    • Ensuring computer software is accessible
    • Smartphone calendar apps to schedule work tasks
    • Text to speech and alternative software plans
  • Accessible communications:
    • Providing sign language interpreters or closed captioning at meetings
    • Ensuring materials are available in Braille, large print or easy to read formats
  • Policy enhancements:
    • Allowing an employee to work from home
    • Partial redeployment of tasks
    • Additional or extended break times/time to take medication
    • Adjusting work schedules for reasons relating to a disability
    • Time

The university Acess and Lifelong Learning unit has published a comprehensive guide for staff on supporting students with disabilities. You can access that at this link: Supporting Students Guide

In 2021 nine faculty members from the college were appointed to the University For All Faculty Partnership Programme. The Programme is designed to support and accelerate the implementation of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) throughout the University. 

You can read more about Universal Design at this link : Universal Design

You can read more about the nine CHAS Faculty Partners at this link : CHAS Faculty Partners

Below video: CHAS Faculty Partners presenting at the 2022 University for All Symposium

UCD College of Health and Agricultural Sciences

University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
T: +353 1 716 7777 | E: chas@ucd.ie