Making sure disabled people are not discriminated again when offering training, development

To make sure that you are not excluding disabled people from training, development, promotion or transfer opportunities, you need to look at how you describe the role and the person you are looking for.

You must consider not only whether you are discriminating directly or indirectly because of a person’s disability, but also:

  • Whether you are treating them in a particular way which, because of something connected with their disability, puts them at a disadvantage and you cannot justify this way of doing what you are doing (‘discrimination arising from disability’).
  • Whether reasonable adjustments are required to enable a person to take up a training, development, promotion or transfer opportunity.


Make sure you are not discriminating against or causing substantial disadvantage to any disabled workers. Anything which is more than minor or trivial is considered to be substantial disadvantage.

This may require you to make reasonable adjustments to selection procedures for training or the training arrangements themselves. It could involve changing the way you do things, or changes to the premises that are used for training, or providing extra aids, services or equipment.

You can read more about making reasonable adjustments to remove barriers for disabled people.

This includes looking at how you give disabled people access to secondment opportunities, work shadowing, having access to a mentor or attending an event that may help a worker to develop their career.

Specialist training

You may need to provide disabled workers with specialist training so that they can make effective use of reasonable adjustments. This could include training on equipment which they have as an adjustment, for example, specialist computer software. 

Or the training may in itself be an adjustment, for example, orientation training in a new workplace if someone has a learning disability or visual impairment. 

Training for other staff 

As a reasonable adjustment, you should think about whether other staff need to be trained to work with a disabled colleague (provided the disabled person has given permission for other staff to know about their situation). This could range from specialist training for managers who are making decisions about reasonable adjustments through to things like Deaf awareness training for people with a Deaf colleague.

Promotion or transfer

If a person who might be eligible for a promotion or transfer or other development opportunity is a disabled person:

  • You must not make assumptions about their abilities or willingness to take on a new role.
  • It is also important for you to consider whether particular qualifications are actually required or whether what you really need is a particular skill level.
  • Any information about the role should not say or imply that it is unsuitable for a disabled person unless there is a clear role-related reason for this.
  • You should tell everyone, including workers who have a disability, about any promotion or transfer or other development opportunity. This includes giving them the information in the format they normally use at work, for example, large print or electronically. This is likely to be a reasonable adjustment.
  • If you decide to interview someone for a promotion or other opportunity and know that they are a disabled person you must make any reasonable adjustments they need to attend and participate in the interview.
  • When assessing a disabled person’s suitability for the new role you need to take account of how reasonable adjustments could enable them to meet the new requirements.
  • If after working out how reasonable adjustments could enable a disabled person to meet the new requirements of a role to which you are considering promoting them, you decide they are not the best person for the promotion, you do not have to offer it to them. Obviously if they are the best person you will want to offer it to them and make the reasonable adjustments.

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