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Do I have a disability?

The law defines disability as a 'physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on your ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities'. (

Citizens Advice also provides information on what counts as disability.

  • Physical disabilities
  • Vision impairment
  • Being deaf or hard of hearing
  • Mental health conditions

How might someone with a disability be discriminated against?

It is against the law for a school or other education provider to treat disabled students unfavourably. This includes:

  • Direct discrimination, for example refusing a student from attending a theatre list, because they need regular breaks due to their disability, so won’t be present for the whole time 
  • Indirect discrimination, for example a disabled student is prevented from going to the ward round because they need easy/fast access to an accessible toilet and there is not one nearby 
  • Discrimination arising from a disability, for example a student is denied the learning opportunity of writing in the ward notes because they are ‘too slow’ at writing due to their disability. 
  • Harassment, for example a doctor shouts at a disabled student for not paying attention on the ward round when the student’s disability stops them from easily concentrating 
  • Victimisation, for example suspending a disabled student because they’ve complained about harassment