The Wellbeing of Disability Professionals in the Further and Higher Education Institution Workplace

Project report


Wilson, L., Martin, N., Conway, J. and Turner, P. (2020). The Wellbeing of Disability Professionals in the Further and Higher Education Institution Workplace. NADP.
AuthorsWilson, L., Martin, N., Conway, J. and Turner, P.
TypeProject report
Abstract

Disability professionals provide invaluable support for disabled students and advice and guidance for academic teams. Recent research has highlighted severe concerns about the mental health of students and also academic staff, but scant research interest is available on the mental health of professional services staff in the UK. This survey was designed as an initial review of the perceptions of
disability professionals working in UK institutions in relation to factors which may impact on mental health and wellbeing. It has revealed some pockets of excellent practice with disability professionals reporting a good working atmosphere, supportive teams, excellent work-life balance and
effective management at every level. However, the majority of respondents reported a difficult working environment both physically and emotionally. Their support came from colleagues at the same level, their professional association and immediate line managers. Many were disheartened and felt undervalued.
Respondents used strong and emotive terms to describe their distress. Some suggested that senior managers have struggled to manage the rapid move from a co-operative institutional environment to one that relies on both internal and external competition. Change management is a complex process that requires three-fold management; looking not only at outcomes but also interests and emotions. Research points to a
concentration solely on outcomes at the expense of staff interests and emotions. Arguably this situation could be framed as breach of psychological contract.
This report suggests that institutions with staff reporting poor wellbeing need to take action immediately to ensure that support for their staff is re-established and support for disabled students continues successfully.
More research is required to further elucidate the differences between institutions where staff are reporting high levels of positive wellbeing and others where staff report very low levels. NADP is well placed to work
across the sector to uncover the critical elements needed to produce a positive model of change.

Year2020
PublisherNADP
File
License
File Access Level
Open
Publication dates
Online21 Jul 2020
Publication process dates
Deposited08 Dec 2020
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https://openresearch.lsbu.ac.uk/item/8v91y

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