New disabled staff

Welcome to your new role at the University of Oxford.   

In addition to all the standard things that any new starter will need to sort out, there are a few disability-specific extras to think about.  We’ve collected some of them here to help you.

Please contact the Staff Disability Advisor as soon as possible for advice and to discuss any support you may need in your role. 

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If you would have difficulties in hearing a standard fire alarm or in leaving your building independently in the event of an emergency (lifts may not be in use) please alert your manager. We may need to provide an alternative alarm and make a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP) with you.  Your department’s Health & Safety Officer would be a good place to start. 

Many buildings have evacuation chairs and staff trained to use them.

You will be asked to complete a DSE self-assessment. If you have any needs in relation to your workstation equipment and furniture, contact your Health & Safety Officer.  

The Occupational Health Service has a small loan collection of alternative mice, keyboard and other equipment.

Open plan offices are becoming more common, so you may not have any choice about where you work.  However, there may be ways we can help. If you find concentration difficult for a disability-related reason, you might like to ask for screens or wear headphones.  Is there a private room you could book for times when you need to concentrate on a particular piece of work? 

Flag up any difficulties with the environment to your manager, who may be able to make changes.

The Bodleian Libraries are committed to providing equal access for all their readers.

If you have a disability and will be using the libraries, please tell them about your disability or health condition and discuss support that may be available. The Libraries can also help you to obtain or produce documents in alternative formats.

Disability Librarian  

You may have already been asked to complete an equal opportunities monitoring form when we recruited you.  We use this information anonymously to monitor the fairness of our recruitment practices and our current staff workforce. 

If you have a disability, you will need to tell us separately if you need any support. You can do this by supplying information on your Pre-employment health questionnaire, or by talking to your manager or the Staff Disability Adviser.

The collegiate University has buildings ranging from the medieval period to the twenty-first century. We are doing what we can to make all our buildings accessible, but we suggest that if you are going to an unfamiliar building you contact them in advance to check access arrangements. Even a very modern building may require special arrangements e.g.  lifts in the new Andrew Wiles Mathematics Building require card access.



Anyone holding a current Blue Badge is entitled to a parking space as near as possible to the accessible entrance to their workplace.  

Parking permits may be available on medical/disability grounds.

 If visiting other parts of the university, you will need to arrange parking in advance (see the Access guide for contacts).  ‘Disabled spaces’ may not be ideal e.g. designated disabled parking spaces in the Gloucester Green multi-storey car park are below ground level and there is no lift.  Some departments have parking that isn’t immediately adjacent to the building.


All staff employed by the University of Oxford, by its colleges, or by the Oxford University Press who self-identify as having a disability are warmly invited to join the Disabled Staff Network. Contact the Staff Disability Advisor to join the Network. 

If you need assistance in using a standard phone, please discuss this with the Staff Disability Advisor.  

The IT Helpdesk can also offer advice:



Remember to flag up any accessibility needs in training

e.g. if you have a visual impairment you may want to request handouts electronically in advance;

e.g. if you have a poor working memory you may want to ask the trainer not to use an icebreaker exercise requiring participants to talk to their neighbour, then introduce them to other participants.

There are a number of different catering providers at Oxford. We recommend that you make contact with the relevant catering services if you have dietary needs, such as a gluten free diet.

If you have a mobility impairment or use a wheelchair, it is good to check that catering facilities are accessible, especially in colleges. 

If you need assistance with selecting your food, or carrying a plate, feel free to talk to catering staff. 

If attending a formal function at a college, which may include pre and post-dinner drinks in separate rooms, it's worth checking that all venues are accessible.

All Oxford buses are wheelchair accessible, and all drivers have received disability awareness training. The Oxford Bus Company and Thames Travel offer Journey Assistance Cards.

If you are unable to use public transport and become unable to drive to work for disability-related reasons, Access to Work may agree to pay for taxis to work, and for work-related travel.