Disability Toolkit

What qualifies someone as disabled?

Section six of The Equality Act 2010 qualifies an individual as disabled if they have a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.  

There are 14.1 millions disabled people in the UK, making up 21% of the population. Comparatively, 187 members of staff at the University of Plymouth have disclosed a disability, just over 7.2% of the 2,592 staff members. 

Disabled students comprise a growing proportion of the student population: in 2018–19, 14.3% (more than 1 in 8) students studying in England had declared at least one disability, but as not all students declare their disabilities, this is likely to be an underestimate. At the University of Plymouth, this figure is higher: 16.4% of undergraduates and 14% of postgraduates declare a disability.

UK Disability History Month

UK Disability History Month (UKDHM) is an annual event with the aim to promote disabled people’s rights and their struggle for equality now and in the past. The year 2020 marked the 10th anniversary of the establishment of UKDHM.

Every year, UKDHM focuses on a different theme. Last year's theme looked to understand the importance of the struggles of disabled people for access, the human rights principle of access for disabled people and applying universal design to environmental, communication, educational, occupational and organisational issues to minimise barriers to disabled people and maximise their participation.