Template email to educational institutions re mask exemption

[START OF EMAIL]

Hello,

As all [INSERT NAME OF INSTITUTION] staff should be aware, the present wording of [INSERT NAME OF NOTICE NOT MENTIONING EXEMPTION] is illegal as it is not provided for, by the UK Equality Act 2010, Data Protection Act 2018 or Coronavirus Act 2020. Contravention of either of the first two Acts carries stiff financial (and reputational) penalty and is contrary to a Core Value of this [INSERT TYPE OF INSTITUTION], which is proud to be Positive About Disabled People.

Disabled Access is an Anticipatory Duty so it is not something to be negotiated at a doorway, on a stairwell or in a corridor, nor should anyone be challenged (by any remark or question whatsoever) and coerced into disclosing Sensitive (Health) Data to a non-Competent Authority.

The present illegal wording is setting up a hostile environment for disabled people and those with various health conditions and is therefore harassment (health conditions) and direct discrimination (disability).

This is unacceptable and is very upsetting to students, staff and visitors of this [INSERT TYPE OF INSTITUTION] which has been exemplary in its provision for disabled students. [INSERT EXAMPLE OF THIS INSTITUTION UPHOLDING DISABLED RIGHTS] and I am shocked by this display of thoughtless ableism! Many other institutions, across the private, public and third sectors, have already changed their policy to accord with the law. [INSERT NAME OF INSTITUTION] should adhere to good practice!

  • Please change this wording to accord with the law, which provides for exemption from mask-wearing on both grounds, immediately and issue a general email of apology and correction.
  • Please instruct all students, staff and visitors that they must respect this legal provision and to presume that any person not wearing a mask is exempt.

Regards,

[INSERT NAME, INCLUDING DEGREES AND ADD “ALUMNUS OF “/ “ALUMNA OF” + NAME OF INSTITUTION IF APPROPRIATE]

[END OF EMAIL]

The Earth, masked

[Please share, adapt and use this email template, including for letters, as an email like this one was sufficient to change the access policy of a prestigious (Russell Group) University in the UK. Legal language, such as “provided for” is very stilted but I find it makes officials sit up and take notice, as does mention of financial and reputational penalty. I find also that it’s best not to rant as a cooler tone gets results however a positive, personal note, linked to the institution, can be effective as then this is not taken as an attack.]

Thanks to Mikhail Denishchenko for releasing his image Corona Virus into the Public Domain.)

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