Recruitment and retention plan for disabled people: 2019

Actions we will take as an employer to support more disabled people into work in Scottish Government and to enable existing disabled employees to thrive and succeed at work.

6. Definitions


Diversity is anything that evokes a perception of difference. It starts with race, marriage and civil partnership, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion or belief (or none), pregnancy and maternity, age and sex. But it also includes social and educational background, organisational tenure, thinking styles, talent and identities.


Inclusion is about integrating diversity into what we do. It means being treated fairly and with respect, feeling both valued for your uniqueness and also a sense of belonging; and having a voice in decision-making. Inclusion is mostly experienced at team level.

Social model of disability

The social model of disability challenges us to think of the barriers that stand in the way of disabled people, as opposed to focusing on their impairments. 

It is the Scottish Government’s and Disabled People’s Organisations preferred model. 

The language is used for the Disability Action Plan aims to reflect the social model of disability and as such uses the terms “disabled people” or “disabled person” rather than “person- or, people with disabilities” throughout.

You can read more about the social model of disability at:

Workplace adjustment

Normally called “reasonable adjustments”. We believe workplace adjustments is more inclusive, as it allows us to offer support to anyone, irrespective of their status as a disabled person or not.

Sharing of personal information

Generally used in place of “disability status disclosure or declaration”.

Equality Act 2010 definition of disability

A person has a disability if they have a physical or mental impairment lasting 12 months or more, and which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on that person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.



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