Disability Confident Scheme in UK

Dear all,

I am a T1 since last 4 years. I am applying for the Research Associate position at a few UK universities. these are contract basis (usually for one year). In all applications, there is an option for applicant, which is as follows.

"As part of its commitment to the Disability Confident scheme, the College operates a Guaranteed Interview
Scheme for disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria as detailed in the Job Description/Person
Specification. If you feel that you have a disability as defined by the Equality Act, you can select YES or NO for the below statement.

Providing that you meet all the essential criteria for the job, you will be invited for interview: YES/NO"

I am wondering if Type 1 Diabetic or Type 2 Diabetic comes under this category. If yes, then, will selecting ‘YES’ impact my further processing of application. Also I am from India. These positions are very relevant to my research work. My point is, Can diabetes really be a positive factor for my selection.


Diabetes itself is not a disability. Diabetes can be managed so that it doesn’t limit your ability to function in life.

That being said there are complications diabetes such as loss of eyesight which are disabilities. I personally feel it is wrong to claim that diabetes alone is a disability and would not do so to get preference. I would also caution you that if you are found to have fraudulently claimed a disability you’re entire application may be totally rejected.

It depends on the context. Diabetes without additional complications may be considered a disability.

Whether one chooses to consider themselves to have a disability is very much an individual decision.

Following is an example where it may be considered as such:


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Yes. I know. I have never considered it as a disability. I have great respect for all diabetics on how they manage it and keep go on in daily life. I would consider myself anything but with disability.
However, I came across few job applications and somewhere it was written that diabetes is one of the disabilities under this scheme. I did not find an official and authentic information on this. Hence, trying to know if anyone has accurate information on this. Also it is mentioned that any condition if can affect daily working at office in any way and might require additional care sometimes to operate and function properly. I should clarify and I can have that option. Also sometimes it may be important to let employer know if person has medical condition, like type1 before application. For securing position I wouldnt think of using my type 1 situation unless I am allowed to. Just trying to get accurate information on this.

I think checking YES may simply mean you are indicating you may need accommodations, such as breaks to test BG or treat a low, etc. It would not likely increase your chance, but allows them to confirm your needs could be accommodated.

You may want to search for details on the UK Equality Act to see what qualifies.

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This may be useful, or may provide contacts for answering your specific questions:

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For a good resource on how you can qualify for social security disability in the US because of your diabetes you can refer to this reference from NOLO. They start off with this statement:

If your diabetes has caused medical complications or organ damage that limits your activity, you may be able to get disability benefits.

In general :

If you have uncontrolled diabetes and you have been prevented from working for at least 12 months, or you expect that you won’t be able to work for at least 12 months, then you may be eligible for Social Security disability (SSDI/SSD) benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. But to qualify for disability benefits, the damage caused by your diabetes must severely limit what you can do, or you must have complications that fulfill the requirements of one of Social Security’s disability listings. Here are the major recognized listings:

Diabetic retinopathy (Listing 2.00)
Diabetic nephropathy (Listing 6.06)
Diabetic peripheral neuropathies (Listing 11.14)
Cardiovascular problems. (listing 4.02, listing 4.12, listing 4.05)
Poorly healing skin and bacterial infections (Listing 8.04)
Amputation of an extremity (Listing 1.05)

The upshot is as NOLO says:

Because Social Security’s disability listings require that the preceding complications be quite severe to qualify for disability, Social Security finds that most people who apply for disability due to diabetes do not meet a listing.

That being said, in the US Diabetes is recognized as a general disability and you are given equal protections from discrimination (as is the case in the UK). But getting preferential treatment or disability payments is an entirely different thing.

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@MM1 I agree. It may be the case. I will look for UK equality act… Thanks.

@beacher This link seems to have a plenty of information in this matter. Thank you.

In UK employment legislation, Diabetes is classed as a disability and you should get the appropriate protections against discrimination, required assistance (e.g. somewhere to test)., etc… Universities and Colleges are in general very up-to-the-mark on Disability legislation although this usually has more to do with providing staff and in particular students with the appropriate access to buildings, lecture theatres., provision of recording facilities where required, etc…

I don’t personally consider myself to be disabled but I do count in my University’s disability employment statistics (I am sure they love me as they get the brownie points without having to do anything about me).

Regarding the Guaranteed Interview: I have been involved in the selection and interview of quite a number of Research Associates/Assistants on soft money contracts over the years. In my field at least, a fair number of applicants apply, , the majority of whom are completely unsuitable for the post on the basis of the required skill sets as advertised. If we get 5 applicants with the appropriate CVs we are happy and would invite all of them for interview. Maybe in your field it is different. Nobody is going to discriminate against an applicant on the grounds of Diabetes (tbh, they won’t care). If you want to invoke the act to ensure an interview, I am not sure how this would be regarded. There’s always the danger of p****ng off some grouchy academic. OTOH if you are sure your skill sets match the requirements it will ensure you an interview and if you shine, that should do the trick.


@jjm335 Thanks for your reply. That is exactly my situation. I have applied to multiple advertised positions in various universities, only where I seem to fit the profile in broader sense. As these positions require very specific background and in some cases I may not match everything employer ask for. Though in a few cases I match every essential requirement. I have no idea about how many probably apply in my engineering field. I understand your point that it is risky to opt for ensuring interview. If I am truly eligible, I will be shortlisted based on that only, and I can mention the diabetes then later.

I have been involved in technical interviews on both sides of the desk. I have never seen anybody having ALL of the so called “required” skills. We actually do not “require” somebody to have all of these even if that is what the job posting says. It is not realistic. The first portion of the interview is to determine if the candidate is lying on their resume about their experience and skills. We find this VERY common and terminate the interview at such point as this is discovered. It doesn’t take long.

Getting past that initial portion of the interview then becomes a more friendly approach finding out where strengths and weaknesses are and how the candidate might integrate with the current team.

A resume/CV is a tricky thing. You need to sell yourself well enough to land the interview. However you can not bull$hit or outright lie on the resume/CV or you risk getting thrown out of the interview with prejudice. It certainly is a balancing act.

In our field, a particular medical condition would be irrelevant. Not to be insensitive but we would not care one way or the other and would consider that an HR issue for somebody else to discuss.

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EEOC in the states says that Diabetes is, in fact, a disability. However, if you check yes it is a set up to pass you over. I was passed up for a job as a contractor in Kuwait. Be careful of those questions… Good luck my friend.

Thank you sir. Its very true and helpful. Also as a foreigner and a type 1 diabetic applicant, it will be a disaster for me if I couldn’t contribute in the job after selection, due to lying on resume or anywhere else to get the position.

Thank you. yes, quite tricky questions there. I was quite confused about these questions.