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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:

  1. 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”).

  2. To provide practical solutions to the barriers and obstacles currently in place within the institutions that prevents individuals from using access adjustments. 

  3. 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.

Resources:

Nomination for the Executive Committee

Nomination for the Executive Committee

This is a graphic providing examples of useful access adjustments to the Bar. The background is white. “Examples of useful access adjustments to the Bar (non-exhaustive list)” is centralised in black text, except “the Bar” which is in burgundy, and surrounded in a cream circle. The examples are spread across the graphic in red, organge e. They are:  Physical accessibility outside and inside buildings; Diary management techniques (e.g. paper days); Breaks; Extra-time; Alternative text (braille, large print etc); Reader or interpreter;  Disability training; Temperature adjustments; Captions in online meetings/interviews/conferences; Providing questions in advance;  Mental-health support;and Adapted equipment (E.g. keyboards).
This is a graphic explaining the duty to provide reasonable adjustments. The background is white with a bright yellow border on the left and bottom edges. The Association of Disabled Lawyers logo is in the top-right corner. The logo consists of an angled blacked out fist holding scales of justice in front of a yellow sun. The Bringing [Dis]Ability to the Bar logo is next to it. This is a burgundy unbalanced scales of justice with “[Dis]” in the lighter scale and “Ability” in the heavier scale. This is enclosed in a slightly transparent burgundy circle. In the top-left corner is “Access Adjustments in the Law” in bold, underlined burgundy text. The rest of the graphic as the following text: “There is a duty to provide reasonable adjustments under Section 20 of the Equality Act 2010 if you are disabled and at a substantial disadvantage because of a practice, criterion and/or provision. This applies to education, employment, services, associations, and private clubs.