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Supporting disabled students

Supporting disabled students. Harriet Cannon Equality Service h.a.cannon@adm.leeds.ac.uk. Aims What is ‘disability’? Overview of ‘accessibility’ and ‘inclusion’ Disability and the Law: what are ‘reasonable adjustments’? How does the University support disabled students?

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Supporting disabled students

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  1. Supporting disabled students Harriet Cannon Equality Service h.a.cannon@adm.leeds.ac.uk

  2. Aims • What is ‘disability’? • Overview of ‘accessibility’ and ‘inclusion’ • Disability and the Law: what are ‘reasonable adjustments’? • How does the University support disabled students? • What can individuals do to support disabled students? • Time for questions and answers

  3. What is ‘disability’?

  4. What is ‘disability’? • The Equality Act 2010 defines a disabled person as someone who: • “ has a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term* adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.” • * Long term: has lasted 12 months, or is likely to last 12 months

  5. Activity • Depression • Broken limbs • Inflammatory bowel disease • Glandular fever • Cancer • Autism • Stress • Addiction • Back pain • Dyslexia • Colour blindness • HIV • Acne • Asthma • Meningitis • Repetitive strain injury

  6. We work with people who: • are deaf or hard of hearing • are blind or partially-sighted • have a physical disability, and/or mobility difficulties • have a specific learning difficulty (for example, dyslexia or dyspraxia) • have a developmental learning or behavioural condition (for example, AD(H)D) • have an autism spectrum condition (for example, Asperger Syndrome) • have a mental health condition • have a long-term medical condition (for example, chronic fatigue syndrome, asthma, epilepsy, diabetes, cancer from the point of diagnosis, HIV) • have a combination of these

  7. Social Model vs Medical Model • The University endorses the social model of disability which says: • Disability is a social phenomenon • Individuals may have physical or sensory impairments, but they are only ‘disabled’ by the way society responds to these • Remove the barrier (physical, societal, attitudinal) and you remove the disability • Medical model defines individuals by their impairment; disabled people become the problem, not society, so individual must adapt; disempowering, promotes notion of ‘cure or care for’

  8. What is ‘accessibility’? • What is ‘inclusion’?

  9. Activity • What does the term ‘accessibility’ mean? • What does the term ‘inclusion’ mean?

  10. ‘Accessibility’ is a general term used to describe the degree to which a product, device, service, or environment is available to as many people as possible. • Includes: • Physical accessibility of built environment (ramps, lifts, signage, accessible doors, accessible toilets, ingress and egress etc) • Accessible communication in all forms (electronic, paper, websites, telecommunications)

  11. ‘Inclusion’ is the process through which we value all individuals, recognise their diverse contributions to communities, and actively remove barriers to access and inclusion. • At Leeds this includes: • The physical campus • Curricula; course design, learning and teaching methods; assessment • Policies, procedures and practices • The student experience and the student life cycle • Attitudes, behaviours and values

  12. Disability and the Law

  13. Disability and the Law • The Equality Act 2010: replaces DDA 1995 and SENDA • Every employee of the University has responsibilities under the Equality Act • The law around disability is based on the concept of ‘reasonable adjustments’

  14. Reasonable adjustments • “If a reasonable adjustment can be made there is no defence for not making it” • Finance is not an argument in most cases • Personal responsibility • Most reasonable adjustments benefit all students, not just the student for whom the adjustment is made

  15. Examples of reasonable adjustments: • Lecture notes, slides and handouts in advance • Adjustments to built environment (ramps, signage, lighting, induction loops, toilet facilities, adjustable work stations) • Assistive software (mind-mapping, text-to-speech, voice recognition) • Exam arrangements • Extensions, alternative assessments • Flexibility of processes

  16. Support for disabled students at • the University of Leeds

  17. How are disabled students identified? • Application • Online registration • Disclosure at any time • Needs Assessment • Contact with the Disability Team • Following an incident in their department, accommodation etc

  18. How does the University support disabled students?

  19. How does the Equality Service support disabled students?

  20. Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA) • Government funding to support disabled students in HE • Not a loan, not means-tested • Four main allowances: equipment; non-medical helper support; travel; general. • Most disabled students who are eligible for a student loan are eligible for DSA • Different allowances for undergraduates and postgraduates • NOT available to: some part-time students; research council students some students on bursary places (e.g. NHS); international students.

  21. The Needs Assessment (AoN, NA or SNA) • Gives background and context to a student’s disability • Makes recommendations around reasonable adjustments, including equipment, software and non-medical helper support • Makes recommendations for the University, including adjustments to learning and teaching, exams and assessment • Should be shared with anyone supporting or teaching the student (read Section F) • Contains sensitive personal information

  22. Applying for DSA • Students should visit the Equality Service for forms and information about applying • They will need to provide evidence (e.g. letter from GP, consultant. Post-16 Educational Psychologist report for dyslexia) • The Leeds Assessment Centre provides a fully-accredited Needs Assessment service. Based in the Equality Service • Process takes 2-3 months to complete

  23. The role of support staff

  24. How can I support disabled students in my department? • General: • Create and foster a culture of inclusiveness; celebrate diversity • Encourage and support disclosure • Include disability in induction • Be anticipatory: think about disability issues when: planning events and activities; creating printed literature; planning exams or in-class testing • Build disability into any planning exercises • Use your Disability Contact – or BE your Disability Contact!

  25. How can I support disabled students in my department? • Individual • Ask the student! They are the expert on their disability. • Treat disabled students as individuals – don’t make assumptions • Take time to read the Needs Assessment Report if available and put recommendations into action • Always go back to the learning outcomes when thinking about reasonable adjustments • Be anticipatory (where possible) • If in doubt, contact the Disability Team

  26. How can I find out about disabled students in my department? • Banner information (SWAMEDI) • Through your Departmental Disability Contact • Through students’ Needs Assessment Reports • Through contact with the Equality Service

  27. The Disability Team • The Equality Service • Ground floor, Social Sciences Building • disability@leeds.ac.uk • 0113 34 33927 • www.equality.leeds.ac.uk

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