The report was launched today (30 November) as part of a new online disability hub for people working across the chemical sciences. Alongside the report, the hub comprises a collection of resources, learnings from those in the chemistry community who have experience of disability, and a series of recommendations for organisations on how they can improve their disability inclusion.
Emrys Travis, 花色直播 Disability and Accessibility Specialist, said: "Chemistry should be welcoming and accessible to everyone, but unfortunately, disabled chemists continue to face stigma, discrimination and structural barriers.
"Creating accessible environments benefits everyone. 10% of our members said they faced disability or health-related barriers, but only 4% said they identified as disabled. This highlights how many may not be accessing the support they need, or even be aware that they could be entitled to support.
"Our research has shown a pervasive lack of awareness around disability and accessibility throughout the sector, but the number of disabled chemists is increasing, so it’s never been more important to educate people on the ways in which they can proactively take steps to improve accessibility."
The report points out that while UK employers are legally required to make reasonable adjustments for disabled staff and students, the burden is often on the individual to identify these adjustments and make the case that they are reasonable, which can be a complicated process.
Emrys continued: "There are some deeply embedded barriers that disabled chemists come up against in their careers, but if more organisations planned environments and processes with inclusion at the front of their minds, so many of these barriers would be reduced or eliminated altogether.
"It’s also important to remember that everyone benefits from environmental changes that increase accessibility. Incorporating access into infrastructure by having step-free access as standard for example would be a big improvement, but there are also processes and policies such as flexible working which would benefit people across the board."
The recommendations in the report include improving digital accessibility, inclusive events planning, and ring-fencing funding for disabled researchers.
The report was published following several years of dedicated work on disability and accessibility in the chemical sciences which included 24 community-led projects to investigate and tackle the barriers facing disabled chemists, and a series of roundtables on the topic, where participants shared their insights.