Declaring my disability

In a world where societal norms often dictate conformity, embracing one’s identity, especially when it comes to declaring a disability, can be a courageous act of self-affirmation. The decision to disclose a disability is deeply personal and can evoke feelings of vulnerability, fear, and uncertainty. However, it’s also an empowering step towards self-advocacy and creating a more inclusive society.

What is a disability?

In England, Scotland and Wales, the definition of who is covered under the Equality Act 2010 is: “You’re disabled under the Equality Act 2010 if you have a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities.”

Should I declare a disability?

As a person with a disability, you have rights to be protected from discrimination. Sometimes people will develop a disability later in life. In this situation we recommend that you declare this to ensure the protection of the law. It is clear to the CWU that many members do not disclose their disability until they face a difficulty, which could be associated with their disability.

One of the benefits of members disclosing their disability is that it can influence disability related policies in a positive way. The more we know about our members with a disability the better placed we are to engage with the employer to put in place the adjustments that you may need.

What are reasonable adjustments?

Reasonable Adjustments are a vital part of ensuring that a person with a disability is supported and enabled to continue to work. The process of applying for reasonable adjustments can include engaging Access to Work. Access to Work applies to any paid job and this includes, part-time work, temporary work and work trials. Your employer cannot apply for you. You must apply for Access to Work yourself. If you believe you can benefit from an Access to Work application. Examples of what may be funded include, specialist software, a support worker, adapted equipment or taxi journeys to and from work if you cannot use public transport. Depending on the size of your employer, Access to Work could refund up to 80% of approved costs under £10,000. It will normally pay any balance over £10,000 up to £65,180 per year. However, some adjustments cost little or nothing and makes a huge difference to the individual. If you believe that you can benefit from a reasonable adjustment linked to your disability, we would encourage you to speak to us in the first instance.

How could Capital Branch help me?

We are here to offer advice and support to you and your family. You have a statutory right to be represented at all formal meetings such as Grievances and Disciplines. This would normally be a work colleague or a representative of a trade union. It is important to contact your CWU Branch, who will be able to guide you through any support and assistance you need. The more we know around your disability the stronger we are when talking to the employer on your behalf.