Many disabled staff working in the lifelong learning sector are reluctant to disclose their impairments because they fear discrimination, new research indicates.
According to a study led by the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE), although 20 per cent of the UK's adult population have a disability, the disclosure rate among staff in the sector is only four per cent.
The study revealed a lack of consistency in the lifelong learning sector in terms of the recruitment, induction, employment and promotion of disabled staff that amounts to what it describes as "institutional discrimination".
Leisha Fullick, from the Institute of Education, stated, "There is a clear problem about the under-representation of disabled staff in lifelong learning. And we saw little evidence of organisations adopting a strategic approach to current and future disabled staff."
NIACE exists to promote the interests of learners and potential learners across England and Wales.