The coronavirus pandemic has been a challenging time for disabled students in higher education and has shone a light on the long-standing structural inequality and discrimination that the University is committed to addressing in our Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) strategic delivery plan.
In July, Advance HE, on behalf of the Disabled Students’ Commission (DSC) and funded by the Office for Students, identified COVID-19 related challenges for disabled students requiring urgent action from Higher Education Providers (HEPs). The report, ‘Three Months to Make a Difference’ highlights these challenges in seven areas and provides recommendations as to how HEPs can urgently address them.
Campus Life, Student Services, academic teams, Professional Services departments, and the Students’ Union have taken account of these recommendations to ensure that we respond to the challenges identified, ensuring that we have a safe and accessible campus for new and returning disabled students.
Our response to the DSC recommendations details the actions that we have taken and future considerations to ensure we are able to continually respond to the needs of disabled students. Our actions include supporting students who are isolating to study remotely, adjusting sports facilities to enable socially distanced access for disabled users, live chat function for student support services, and ensuring that blended learning is delivered inclusively.
Full details of support available can be found through the services below.