We want to ensure that all staff & students feel comfortable on campus during this time... It’s important to remember that there are circumstances where people may not be able to wear a face covering and are face mask exempt. Read on to see our guidance on face coverings, and how we're helping to raise awareness of exemptions with our 'Face Covering Exempt' badges for students, to ensure a safe, and kind campus for everyone.
If you feel able to wear a mask or face covering, then it is strongly advised for you to wear one, particularly when moving around campus buildings, and in areas where social distancing may be difficult. However, it’s really important to know there are some circumstances where people may not be able to wear a face covering, meaning they are face covering exempt. Keeping this in mind, means we can ensure a safe and kind campus for everyone.
(For information on badges and lanyards, scoll to the bottom of this article)
Face Covering Exemption:
The reasons why someone may not be wearing a mask may not be immediately obvious. For example:
- Individuals with disabilities or health conditions such as respiratory conditions or conditions which affect dexterity, meaning they may not able to put on or remove a face covering consistently or without pain/difficulty.
- Individuals who experience anxiety or panic disorders.
- Neurodiverse Individuals who may experience distress and sensory overload when wearing a face covering.
- Individuals with restricted field of vision, whose residual vision would be obscured by a face covering.
- Individuals who are with someone who relies on lip-reading to communicate.
Government guidance state that if a person has 'good reason' to not wear a face covering, then they are face covering exempt, meaning they do not have to wear one. It is therefore never appropriate to challenge someone who is not wearing a face covering. Instead, be kind and supportive to those who may already be experiencing feelings of anxiety and/or guilt for not being able to wear a face covering. Together, we can make sure everyone on campus feels safe and supported.
Feeling unsure about face coverings?
If you’re not feeling sure whether you are able to wear a mask or not, try exploring ways you might be able to make wearing a mask more bearable. Mind has some great tips available to read here to help you feel more comfortable when wearing a mask. However, if you find you are really not able to wear a mask, then that’s okay. Be sure to follow other government guidance such as social distancing and regular hand washing.
Badges & Lanyards
We want to support students & staff who may feel more comfortable to wear something that highlights to others they are exempt from wearing a face covering. Your Disabled Students Community have created a number of free badges available for you to order if you wish to wear one on campus, however this is a personal choice, and is not a requirement by the university or in law. We will be working closely with the university to raise awareness amongst staff and students of face covering exemption, to ensure that no one is treated unfairly or discriminted against, if they are not wearing a face covering.
I'd like to order a badge Click Here
Join the Disabled Students Community Click Here
I'd like to learn about the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Lanyard scheme Click Here