At work, how do you define 'disabled'?

I am going through the unfortunate process of redundancy & consultation (as are thousands of others!). When I looked over the consultation papers, the statistics offered are 25% of employees are declared disabled. I know who I work with: I have RA & my friend has retinitis pigmentosa and is going blind. However, an additional two members of staff have cited themselves as disabled because they have dyslexia. I would LOVE to know how others feel about this! I personally can't believe how lucky they are getting to the loo on their own, or doing up buttons, but can say, 'I'm disabled'. I would love to have that sort of disability!

7 Replies

  • Andrea, I can totaly understand your problem with this. When I first tried going back to work after a bad flare off RA, I had aranged with my employers that I would just start back doing the hours I felt I could due to the fatigue, so after a few days I went home after just 3 hours, before I left I just poped over to a collegues desk as all the managers where out and asked her to let them know I had gone home as I was to tired and couldnt do no more, another collegue overheard and said well I am tired and I cant go home, so the collegue I had told defended me and said but Julie has RA and thats why her response was but I have ingrowing toes and I am in pain with them!

    Instead of hitting her which I felt like doing I aksed her to think of the worst pain she sufers from her ingrowing toe nail, times it by one thousand and thats would be like a good RA day!!

    Dyslexia is problem and I understand how hard it must be, however I dont in any way think it should be classed as a Disability!

  • quite agree!, people have on idea....

  • think nras has a document on definition of disability, new legislation came out oct 2010

  • It is all set out under the Equality Act 2010 and the definition is wide-ranging. I have just checked the website which says: "The Disability Discrimination Act says a disabled person is someone with ‘a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities’. Examples include cancer, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and heart conditions; hearing or sight impairments, or a significant mobility difficulty; and mental health conditions or learning difficulties. People in these circumstances and some others (such as people with a facial disfigurement) are likely to have rights under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) to protect them from discrimination. However, only the courts can say if a particular individual is defined as disabled under the legislation."

    So obviously very wide-ranging and I think we have to recognise these all cause people difficulty although that obviously varies. I know in education, perhaps not surprisingly, that dyslexia is probably the largest recognised disability. I guess the issue is are the people who have declared themselves disabled suffering disproportionately in the redundancy process - i do hope not!

    Good luck with it all.

  • I am appreciative of the fact that Dyslexia is included within the Equality Act 2010. However, that does not change my feeling that the world has gone potty! As I understand it, dyslexia as considered by employers is looked on quite favourably.

  • Might not feel the same if you have it badly though and are struggling to manage at work but in a different way from us! I know that some people in higher education feel that some students claim to have it when they don't or not badly but that can't do much for those people who really struggle with it and were written off at an early age because they had trouble reading and writing. Maybe you have someone playing the system - can't see why employers would like it not unless on the basis that maybe if you have dyslexia you are less likely to have time off work than with other disabilities!

  • I have been through the whole process, and to cut a very long story short i was made redundant not through my RA, the health and safety manager also asked how quick i could get out of the building if there was a fire.

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