University of Southampton has become the first University to achieve Disability Confident Leader Status.
This scheme is a government initiative which aims to enable employers to engage proactively with disabilities and to improve the recruitment and retention of disabled workers for their skills and talent.
Their official accreditation of Level 3 ‘leader’, the most advanced level, was delivered last December. This followed the collective work of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Team with Disability Working Group and Enable Me, which are local charities.
This status means the University has demonstrated their commitment to disability equality as they encourage a positive approach towards disabilities, challenge negative attitudes and ensure all staff are provided opportunities to reach their full potential.
Professor Sir Snowden, the University’s President and Vice-Chancellor, commented on this achievement:
It’s fantastic news that the University’s commitment to disability equality has been recognised and that we are the first University to be awarded Disability Leader status.
The scheme therefore highlights that the University is committed to:
- Challenging negative attitudes towards disability
- Promoting disability equality
- Removing barriers to disabled people and those with long-term health conditions
- Ensuring that disabled people have the opportunities to fulfil their potential and realise their aspirations.