Disability and mental health

Equality Act 2010, Section 6: Disability

LSE is committed to complying with the disability provision of the Equality Act 2010. The LSE policy on disability details how the school aims to implement the requirements of the legislation.

LSE's partnership with AccessAble

LSE has a partnership with AccessAble to provide fine-grain, pan-disability access guides to the School’s buildings (including the residences), good practice guides that will inform ongoing estates developments, route maps between buildings, and an Apple/Android app.

The guides and maps are available from the AccessAble website.

The good practice guides, which AccessAble will produce as part of this work, will support us in being proactive, at a time when the LSE estate is undergoing major physical change.

Business Disability Forum (BDF)

LSE is a member of the Business Disability Forum. BDF is a not-for-profit organisation that works with businesses to support employees with disabilities. They provide training, expertise and resources for managers and staff about disability. This is an important issue for LSE as 19% of working age adults have a disability, and 96% of disabilities are not visible.

BDF have over 20 years’ experience working with private and public sector organisations. Their 300 members include Manchester Metropolitan University who received Gold Disability Standard status in 2017.

There is a huge list of benefits of membership available to all LSE staff. All colleagues can register with their LSE email address to access line manager guides, a mental health module and specialised toolkits. There is also an advice service for managers and resources on recruitment, adjustments and communications.

LSE is a Disability Confident Employer (level 2)

LSE is part of the Disability Confident scheme, which is designed to support employers to recruit, recognise and retain the skills and talents of disabled people and people with health conditions.

You can find out more about the Disability Confident campaign on the Government's website, and you can also review the guidance for employers on the Department for Work and Pensions site.

LSE is a Disability Confident Employer (Level 2) and is committed to interview any applicant with a disability who meets the essential criteria for a job vacancy. Please indicate on the form whether you would like to be considered for a guaranteed interview under the Disability Confident Scheme.

Disability and mental health resources

Time to Change: LSE is committed to challenging mental health stigma and is a signatory to the Time to Change pledge.

Counselling: The School offers free and confidential counselling to all staff and students, as well as a Peer Support scheme for students.

Mental health adviser: Students can also contact a mental health adviser through the counselling service.

Student Mental Health and Wellbeing at LSE 
LSE is creating a new Student Mental Health and Wellbeing (SMHW) Framework. This will adopt SMHW as a strategic priority for LSE, in order to support a new integrated whole School approach. Student Wellbeing has been included as a focus within the LSE 2030 Strategy, as part of the commitment to ensure holistic and comprehensive support for every student. The new Framework will be launched in 2020, and address key areas including: academic culture and practice; welcome and a sense of belonging; promotion, prevention and provision in support of SMHW. 

Disability and Wellbeing Service: You can find extensive information about LSE services on the Disability and Wellbeing Service website and on the Staff Wellbeing page.

Network of Disabled Students and Staff (NODSS): If you would like to be involved in the NODSS, please contact the chair of the network, Ken Kinsella (k.kinsella@lse.ac.uk).

IT accessibility at LSE: Data and Technology Service (DTS) is committed to the provision of facilities and support for disabled students and staff to ensure equality of access to services.

Additional facilities and services for Library users with disabilities: The Library is committed to ensuring that it provides full access to the range of services and facilities that it offers to both LSE staff and students and non-LSE members.

Line manager's resource: If you have line-management responsibilities for staff, you may wish to draw on the Mental Health First Aid England 'Line managers' resource' [PDF], which is a practical guide to managing and supporting people with mental health problems in the workplace.

Training: The Cause for Concern Protocol offers guidance to staff in managing student difficulties, including in relation to mental health and wellbeing. For details of training sessions, including flying start induction and Mental Health First Aid course, please contact hr.learning@lse.ac.uk

Staff rest room: A staff rest room is available in the New Academic Building (NAB), and the reception team can arrange access.

Other organisations: Mind and Time to Change are two external organisations with a wealth of resources on mental health.

Equality Act 2010, Section 6: Disability

If you would like to know more about the legal definition of the protected characteristic of 'disability', please see the following text from section 6 of the Equality Act 2010

(1) A person (P) has a disability if —

(a) P has a physical or mental impairment, and
(b) the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on P's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

(2) A reference to a disabled person is a reference to a person who has a disability.

(3) In relation to the protected characteristic of disability —
(a) a reference to a person who has a particular protected characteristic is a reference to a person who has a particular disability;
(b) a reference to persons who share a protected characteristic is a reference to persons who have the same disability.

(4) This Act (except Part 12 and section 190) applies in relation to a person who has had a disability as it applies in relation to a person who has the disability; accordingly (except in that Part and that section) —

(a) a reference (however expressed) to a person who has a disability includes a reference to a person who has had the disability, and

(b) a reference (however expressed) to a person who does not have a disability includes a reference to a person who has not had the disability.

(5) A Minister of the Crown may issue guidance about matters to be taken into account in deciding any question for the purposes of subsection (1).

(6) Schedule 1 (disability: supplementary provision) has effect.

The Equality Act 2010 places a duty upon higher education institutions to make reasonable adjustments for staff, students and service users in relation to disability and mental health. Whether a person is disabled is generally determined by the effect the physical or mental impairment has on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities (the exception to this is people with severe disfigurement). Normal day-to-day activities are not defined in the Act, but in general they are things people do on a regular or daily basis, for example eating, washing, walking, reading, writing or having a conversation.