Health & Safety Department

What do we mean by ‘Disability’?

What is covered by the term 'Disability'?

The meaning of disability is defined by the Equality Act 2010, as any 'physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on someone’s ability to carry out normal day to day activities’.

For the purpose of the Act, these terms have the following meanings:

  • ‘Substantial’ means more than minor or trivial
  • ‘Long term’ means that the effect of the impairment has lasted or is likely to last for at least twelve months. Long term effects include those which are likely to recur, for example in fluctuating conditions.
  • ‘Day to day activities’ are normal activities carried out by most people on a regular basis. Examples include non-specialist job tasks, communication skills, learning and understanding.

This can cover a wide variety of physical, mental and sensory impairments, such as:

  • Specific learning difficulties and neurodivergence such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD and autism
  • Mobility impairments
  • Deaf or hard of hearing
  • Blind and sight loss
  • Chronic health conditions such as diabetes, epilepsy and asthma
  • Mental health conditions  
  • Certain medical conditions such as multiple sclerosis, cancer and HIV