The impact of COVID-19 on disabled people in the legal profession
Legally Disabled?: The Career Experiences of Disabled People in the Legal Profession (January 2020) identified that the most requested (and refused) reasonable adjustment for disabled lawyers was remote or home working.
However, COVID-19 has required everyone to work in this way and this is predicted to continue.
It has meant new opportunities for disabled people and the profession to shape a more inclusive working environment.
Along with our Disabled Solicitors Network (DSN) (previously the Lawyers with Disabilities Division (LDD)), we commissioned the same researchers, Professor Debbie Foster and Dr Natasha Hirst, to carry out further research to capture people’s experiences during COVID-19.
The findings show that a lot of disabled people have found mass home working to be beneficial.
However, this is not universal and there continues to be issues with accessibility, technology and procedures.
Many of these issues do not just affect disabled people and addressing them will improve not only disability inclusion in the profession.
The research and recommendations show how working practices can be improved in future lockdowns and beyond.
We’ll continue working together with the DSN and Legally Disabled? to ensure that these are adopted by firms and organisations of all sizes.