The origin of equity/equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) initiatives at universities are rooted in the 2005 Athena SWAN (Scientific Women’s Academic Network) charter from Advance HE
in the UK, which has the purpose of initiating actions that generate gender equality in UK universities. Since then, Advance HE
also set up a “race charter” to deal with equality issues that are experienced by ethnic staff and students within higher education. Today “equality, diversity and inclusion” and “equity, diversity and inclusion” (from now on both called EDI) are used as phrases by universities in many countries to highlight ongoing efforts to rectify the problems that are linked to EDI of students, non-academic staff, and academic staff, whereby the focus broadened from gender to include other underrepresented groups, including disabled students, disabled non-academic staff, and disabled academic staff. How EDI efforts are operationalized impacts the success and utility of EDI efforts for disabled students, non-academic staff, and academic staff, and impacts the social situation of disabled people in general. As such, we analysed in a first step using a scoping review approach, how disabled students, non-academic staff, and academic staff are engaged with in the EDI focused academic literature. Little engagement (16 sources, some only abstracts, some abstracts, and full text) with disabled students, non-academic staff, and academic staff was found. This bodes ill for the utility of existing EDI efforts for disabled students, non-academic staff, and academic staff, but also suggests an opening for many fields to critically analyse EDI efforts in relation to disabled students, non-academic staff, and academic staff, the intersectionality of disabled people with other EDI groups and the impact of the EDI efforts on the social situation of disabled people beyond educational settings. The problematic findings are discussed through the lens of ability studies and EDI premises, as evident in EDI policy documents, EDI academic, and non-academic literature covering non-disability groups, and policy documents, such as the 2017 “UNESCO Recommendation on Science and Scientific Researchers” and the 1999 “UNESCO World Conference on Sciences” recommendations that engage with the situation of researchers and research in universities.
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