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Defining a Disability

Complex terms are commonly used to define what a disability is legally. It is a complex situation and the Council hopes to engage and ensure all residents and visitors to the city feel they are included and able to access all services they need

A disability can be temporary, permanent, from birth or recent. A disability is not always something visible, and can commonly be hidden - such as mental health or Autism. This is why the Equalities Team focuses on the term accessibility.

Accessibility is inclusive of all people's needs, and aims to break down the environmental and social barriers that people with a disability have to face on a day-to-day basis.

What does that really mean for the people who live, and/or support someone, with a disability in Aberdeen?

Aberdeen City Council is required by law to make our policies and projects inclusive to all members of the community. We want to go beyond our legislative requirements and be a 'Best Practice' employer and provider of services by continually striving to deliver an access friendly environment and provider of supportive services in the city.

Aberdeen City Council works with partner agencies, the third sector and community groups to help ensure everyone should be able to access necessary services and be included in shaping Aberdeen.

Our priorities continue to be:

  • Involving people with disabilities and an interest in disability in developing; policies, services and action plans
  • Ensuring all our services and information is easy to read and access
  • Preventing harm towards the Community by actively participating against discrimination and harassment

Our policy has always been to involve people with disabilities in our planning and in our delivery of services and the following groups contribute to this work:

  • Disability Equity Partnership (DEP)
  • Bon Accord Access Panel (BAAP)
  • Voluntary Sector Organisations for example Aberdeen Council of Voluntary Organisation (ACVO) and Shopmobility.


Access Resources

If you are new to the city or just want extra access information when planning a trip in the UK, we recommend the following resources:


Disability Equity Partnership (DEP)

Dame Anne Begg is the Chair of the newly formed Disability Equity Partnership (DEP) and alongside her Vice Chair Ron Holding will work closely with the Council to ensure the needs and requirements of all those with additional support needs and abilities are considered properly.

DEP is an open public meeting and if you are interested in hearing more about their work, or contributing please get in touch with Kelly Johnstone, Development Officer (Disability Access), contact details can be found at the bottom of this page.

Recent DEP Update:

September 2016

DEP are supporting the Aberdeen City Council Broad Street Design team and providing advice so that the development is inclusive and accessible to the wider city community.


  • Kelly Johnstone
    Development Officer (Disability Access)
    Equalities Team
    Communities, Housing & Infrastructure
    Business Hub 11
    2nd Floor West
    Marischal College
    Broad Street
    Aberdeen, AB10 1AB

    Direct Dial: 01224 522329

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