Implementing access adjustments has been a longstanding difficulty at the Bar. The Legally Disabled? Report found that disabled people feel that organisations are reluctant to change and adopt inclusive practices. The ADL received concerns supporting these findings as candidates told us that Chambers failed to respond to requests access adjustments in the last Pupillage Gateway. Requesting adjustments is difficult. Of those who participated in the Legally Disabled? Research, 72.3% reported that the process of requesting adjustments caused them stress and anxiety. The research also found that chambers have a limited knowledge of adjustments and equipment available, because of the under-utilisation of experienced providers such as Access to Work.
The ADL is delighted to be partnering with BDABar to address access adjustments at the Bar. Our “Acknowledge. Accept. Adjust. Access.” campaign is aimed at adjusting the Bar to access and keep disabled talent. Our objectives are:
To educate and raise awareness of using access adjustments to ensure equal opportunities at the Bar, including in Chambers, Bar Standards Board Bar Course Providers, Courts and Inns of Court (“the institutions”).
To provide practical solutions to the barriers and obstacles currently in place within the institutions that prevents individuals from using access adjustments.
To empower individuals to understand access adjustments and be confident in requesting them, including the use of the duty to provide reasonable adjustments.
We will achieve our objectives by creating resources, galvanising confidence in requesting adjustments and liaising with stakeholders at the Bar to remove barriers to adjustments.