TCD Launches Guide for Supporting Staff with Disabilities

Posted on: 03 December 2008

Supporting Staff with Disabilities: Guide for Staff and Managers, the first manual for managers on how to support staff with disabilities to be developed and implemented by an Irish university was officially launched by the Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade, and Employment, Sean Haughey in Trinity College Dublin today, Tuesday December 2nd.

At least 11% of the population in Ireland have a disability or longstanding illness* however the proportion of people with disabilities in employment is on average half of that of non-disabled people in every age group*. These figures highlight the need for addressing disability in the workplace and developing inclusive work practices to maximise the potential of the work force.

Through the implementation of the new TCD guide, Supporting Staff with Disabilities: Guide for Staff and Managers, Trinity is actively working to promote a more inclusive and diverse College community and to achieve the 3% employment of people with disabilities target put in place for public sector bodies under the Disability Act 2005.In the process of developing this new guide Trinity also revised its Code of Practice in relation to the Employment of People with Disabilities and other College policies to ensure compliance with the Disability Act 2005.

The guide is an innovative resource to help managers support their staff with disabilities and facilitate them in giving effective performance. It outlines the supports available to staff with disabilities within Trinity College and provides practical examples of simple measures to facilitate staff in fulfilling their potential. By developing this guide TCD aims to remove any unnecessary barriers and to facilitate the full participation of staff with disabilities.

“This is the first initiative to offer a fully integrated support resources to staff with disabilities in the university sector”, explained Director of the TCD Disability Service Declan Treanor. “Trinity is taking a leading role in supporting staff with disabilities by developing an inclusive approach to promoting the recruitment, retention and development of staff with disabilities which involves a collaborative effort of the manager, the College Disability Service, human resources and its staff members.”

“People with disabilities continue to face significant challenges in participating in the workplace. One of the most significant barriers are people’s attitudes and assumptions regarding their capacity in work. This guide offers examples of how practical measures can enable staff with disabilities to participate fully in employment, usually at a very low cost to the employer,” stated TCD Equality Officer, Karen Campos McCormack.  

Notes to Editors   

*Quarterly National Household Survey 2002

*National Disability Authority

Minister sean haughey meets bethan collins, lecturer in occupational therapy at tcd and her guide dog, at the launch of trinity college's 'supporting staff with disabilities' guide.