Special Education Needs and Disabilities : Implications of New Legislation and Guidance for HE Geography, Earth and Environmental SciencesFriday 19 October 2001 Learning, Teaching and Disability : The Need for a New Approach Mike Adams - National Disability Team
NDT brief • Service to HEFCE and DEL, Northern Ireland, during the Improving provision for disabled students programme (2000-2002), supporting project staff with advice and guidance. • Focal point of information about the programme, dissemination of outcomes across HE sector. • Liaison with other teams, agencies and organisations to enhance accessibility and quality of learning experience.
AIMS • To make comments/observations on legislation and its impact on learning and teaching • Identify resources/materials already available. • Draw on lessons from other countries.
Geography Discipline Network Project • Focus on fieldwork • Led by academic staff in partnership with disability practitioners - Signalled a shift in thinking and practice
LTSN Activities • Dedicated disability conferences • Part-time secondment of specialists • Generic centre project
Implications of shift in practice • Academic staff - engage, review and critique issues • Disability Practitioners - evolving role and remit
Associated Developments • Disability as a research issue - providing a robust evidence base - HEFCE Mapping exercise • Disability as part of the curriculum
Associated Developments (2) • Disability support tools • Teachability - A supported self-audit of provision - Emphasis on accessible curriculum design and delivery, not on student support - Emphasis on ‘inclusive teaching practices’
The Australian experience • Legislation introduced in 1993 • Similarities with UK Higher Education: - expansion of student numbers - role and remit of Disability Officer - special initiative funding - national co-ordination • Major difference: - core funding
Impact of legislation on Institutions • Formalisation of disability services. • Greater awareness across faculties/support services. • Disability action plans.
Impact of legislation on Institutions (2) Gaps in provision: • quality of advice, guidance and support given to academic staff - teaching, learning and assessment. - staff development.
Conclusions • No single blueprint • Creating a framework from which to develop • Formation of new partnerships to engender systemic change
Useful email/web addresses • Mike Adams - firstname.lastname@example.org • Teachability - www.ispn.gcal.ac.uk/teachability/index.html • University of Connecticut - www.facultyware.com(autumn,2001) • www.natdisteam.ac.uk : current projects and information on the NDT’s forthcoming national conference, March 20/21 2002, Coventry