Creating a fairer Britain
The Equality Act came into force on 1 October 2010. Some of the information on this page may be out of date.
A: Under Part 4 of the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 which covers access to further and higher education, post-16 education establishments have a duty to make 'reasonable adjustments' where a physical feature of the premises (college), places you at a substantial disadvantage for a reason relating to a disability.
This may mean that if areas of the college such as the labs can only be accessed by stairs, the college should consider installing a lift, provided it is reasonable to do so. If it is going to be unreasonable for the college to do this then they should look at alternative ways of making the premises accessible. This could potentially include relocating the labs from the first floor to the ground floor. You should by rights be able to access all parts of the college that your fellow students can.
Read more information on rights in education.
A: It is important that you have a disability as defined by the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) in order to be protected by the Education post-16 duties. This can cover a wide range of impairments which for example affect walking, lifting, eyesight, hearing as well as mental health and learning difficulties. Importantly, the effects must last up to 12 months or over and have a substantial affect on your day to day activities. See the definition of disability for more detail.
A: Provided you meet the DDA definition of disability, the college will have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to remove this barrier.
If you require the examination papers to be printed on coloured paper, the college has a duty to contact the relevant examination body and ensure that this is provided for you.
A: Leaving your friends behind when you have finished school can be a difficult time. Thinking about what you want to do next is also a challenge. Should you get a job or go to college?
The law will still protect you when you leave school if you are looking to go onto further education or employment. If you have a learning disability and decide to start a college course, you will be protected by the post-16 education part of the DDA.
This means that even when you apply for a place at college, you should not be refused on the grounds of your disability. Once you are in college, you should be protected during the course of your studies, so the college will have to protect you if you are being bullied or you need help to do your studies.
For more information please see information for students over age 16.
Providing you meet the DDA definition of disability, and this depends on the effect that your depression has on your ability to carry out day to day activities, the college has a duty to make reasonable adjustments to enable you to complete your course.
It may not be reasonable for the college to offer a 'break' if this would mean that you needed individual tuition to catch up with the other students on the course at a later date.
The college could offer to allow you to retake the subject in the following year, giving you the time you need. They could then offer a phased return to college over the period you have already completed, giving you the best chance of being ready to take up your studies again.
For more information go to our Disability in Education section.