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  • Disability Service - Information for staff supporting students

    The Disability Team can advise staff on supporting students with disabilities and medical or mental health conditions and autistic spectrum disorder (ASD).

    The team are part of Wellbeing and provide an advisory and support service for students and staff with disabilities. 

    The student website includes information about the support and adjustments that students may require during their studies. 

    Staff who are teaching disabled students may wish to refer to the guides for inclusive learning and teaching.   

    Staff are also invited to attend lunchtime seminars run by the Oxford Student Mental Health Network.

    The legal context

    In October 2010, the Equality Act became law. This follows previous legislation: SENDA (2002) and the DDA (1995) which required Higher Education Institutions to provide reasonable adjustments to enable disabled students, including dyslexic/SpLD students, to access the curriculum.

    The Equality Act extends and strengthens the previous legislation with regard to disability. The legislation states that it is ‘illegal to treat a disabled person less favourably than others for a reason that relates to their disability without justification, and in some cases, it may be legitimate to treat a disabled person more favourably’. If a student is at a substantial disadvantage, the educational provider is required to make reasonable adjustments. The UK Quality Code for Higher Education advises that:

    "Equality of opportunity involves enabling access for people who have differing individual requirements as well as eliminating arbitrary and unnecessary barriers to learning. In addition, disabled students and non-disabled students are offered learning opportunities that are equally accessible to them, by means of inclusive design wherever possible and by means of reasonable individual adjustments wherever necessary. " (Part B, Chapter B3, 2015)

    Moreover, universities must make provision for future students and therefore they often cannot rely on existing infrastructures, but must put systems into place to address the needs of students with a range of disabilities, including dyslexia/SpLD.