The Disability Inclusion Institutional Framework (DIIF)

The Disability Inclusion Institutional Framework (DIIF) is a conceptual framework and checklist designed to support higher education leadership teams in scaling up Disability Inclusion throughout their organisations and across sectors with all stakeholders.

The graphic below provides a visual representation of the 12 themes comprising the DIIF and the interrelated nature of them:


The Disability Inclusion Institutional Framework (UK) is the outcome of robust systematic review of approximately 500 articles from an initial data base of approximately, 11,000 peer reviewed academic papers on disability inclusion (DI) involving lead authors from 50 countries. Each academic paper was scrutinised for methodological quality, relevance, and transferability (Evans, et. al., 2021), and subjected to thematic analysis using deductive and inductive approaches. Inter- and intra-rater checking was employed throughout to assure findings. Expert reports and associated works (n =100), publicly available institutional data on inclusion, and 8 panel interviews with 37 expert stakeholders were also used in the evolution of the framework.

DIIF International

This version of the DIIF (Int.) has been adapted for International contexts.

The DIIF themes

A summary of the 12 DIIF themes is illustrated in the graphic below:

The 12 DIIF themes are interrelated as demonstrated in the conceptual model.

What works to support disability inclusion in higher education

The what works to suport disability inclusion report undertaken for Transforming Access and Student Outcomes (TASO) is atached below. It provides a thorough analysis of key themes informing the development of the DIIF framework. Information on the summary TASO report and steps forward with this work can be found at the following link:, and information about the launch of the report is located here The initial scope and setting up of this work is reported on here:

Integrated Inclusion Framework (IIF)

In moving towards an integrated approach to inclusion within higher education, the 12 themes highlighted in the DIIF are relevant in addressing inclusion for all within higher education. Therefore, it is possible to evolve the DIIF into the IIF – an Institutional Inclusion Framework, and work is ongoing to realise this.

A copy of the presentation: ‘Disability Inclusion: Scaling up disability inclusion at the institutional level ‘ (Evans and Zhu (2023) is included below. This was delivered at the Advance HE Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Conference 2023: The Shoulders of Giants: Listening, Learning and Improving our Practice, on 15 March, 2023 can be found below.

The presentation used at the launch of the DIIF at the University of Lincoln’s Eleanor Glanville Institute is attached below.