This independent and strategic group takes responsibility for advising, informing and influencing higher education providers to improve support for disabled students.
Through a competitive process, Advance HE was awarded funding by the Office for Students to support the Disabled Students’ Commission for three years. Advance HE has responsibility for providing secretariat support, as well as overseeing the management, coordination and dissemination of research and other DSC outcomes.
This includes assisting with the group’s annual report which builds a picture of disability in higher education in England, in order to identify and promote approaches which work well for disabled students.
Publications and Guidance
New guidance on disabled graduate employment from the Disabled Students’ Commission
A guide designed to help disabled people access the workforce and to transition into employment has been published by the Disabled Students’ Commission, the independent and strategic group funded by the Office for Students. The guidance sets out 13 recommendations for universities and colleges, Chambers of Commerce, CBI, Institute of Directors and employers to improve the experience of disabled graduates entering the workforce.
Exploring the impact of Covid-19 on disabled students’ experiences
The Disabled Students’ Commission (DSC) commissioned a survey to take place between May and June 2021 to gain an understanding of the impact of Covid-19 on disabled student experiences, particularly investigating the transition into university, remote learning, mental health and support provided. This report details the findings from an interim analysis of the responses.
Considerations for disabled applicants to higher or degree apprenticeships
The guidance aims to help disabled apprenticeship candidates navigate the support for reasonable adjustments provided by their employer and their learning provider and encourages applicants to ask questions about the learning element of their apprenticeship.
Post Qualification Admission Principles
Eight principles for the sector to consider to ensure the needs of disabled students are taken into account within a proposed move to a post-qualifications admissions system.
Considerations for disabled applicants applying to postgraduate courses
This guidance aims to help postgraduate students with a disability to access information about learning, assessment, careers, mental health and other issues arising during postgraduate study.
Guidance for captioning rich media
This guidance from the Disabled Students' Commission outlines best practice and approaches for higher education institutions to support disabled learners.
Disabled Students’ Commission Annual Report 2020-2021: Enhancing the disabled student experience
This report is a summary of all the guidance the DSC has published for students with a disability so they can participate fully in higher education, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Considerations for disabled applicants applying to undergraduate courses
This booklet is a practical toolkit which aims to support disabled students by providing questions to help ensure a smooth start to their higher education journey.
Considerations for disabled students when applying to university in light of Covid-19
This publication has been informed by a series of roundtables run by the DSC in July 2020, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Three months to make a difference
The DSC ran a series of roundtables to inform this booklet which outlines key areas that present challenges for disabled students.
Disabled Students’ Commission publishes annual report
The DSC have published the first annual report, Enhancing the disabled student experience, which provides a summary of all the guidance the Commission has published to date and looking ahead to the next phase of work.
Geoff Layer, Chair of the Disabled Students' Commission, introduces 'Enhancing the disabled student experience' in the video below.
Here the Disabled Students’ Commission highlights blogposts and resources from the sector that showcase good practice in relation to disabled student support in HE.
DSC guidance on disabled apprenticeships at LSBU helping to provide the best possible experience
Fiona Morey from London South Bank University Group demonstrates the impact of the guidance from the Disabled Students’ Commission on disabled apprenticeship students, and how it has been used in a University setting.
How can the HE sector achieve authentic change for disabled students?
Between May and June 2021, the Disabled Students’ Commission conducted a survey with a total of 473 disabled students, exploring the impact of Covid-19 on their student experience in higher education. Hannah Borkin, mixed-methods Researcher at Advance HE, looks at some of the key takeaways from the research.
A new guide to support students who stammer
With a broad estimate suggesting there are between 24,000 and 71,000 students who stammer in the UK, a new guide has been produced to assist higher education (HE) professionals when they are supporting students who stammer to achieve a positive and inclusive HE experience.
Avoiding ‘inclusion exclusion’ – keeping stakeholders on board
The Disabled Students’ Commission has published new guidance to help universities and colleges improve support for the digital experience of disabled students.
Masked Out? The implication of using face masks for deaf students in HE
The recent publication by the Disabled Students’ Commission (DSC), Three Months to Make a Difference, explored the inevitable challenges with making campuses Covid-19 secure.
Professor Geoff Layer, who was previously Chair of the DSSLG and a current Advance HE Board Member, was appointed Chair of the Disabled Students’ Commission in July 2019 as part of the ministerial announcement of the DSC. Chris Millward, the OfS’s Director for Fair Access and Participation was nominated as a commissioner by the OfS.
Following a recruitment campaign, six expert commissioners have also been appointed, with two representing the student voice. Dr Sam Parrett, CEO and Group Principal of London South East Colleges, has been appointed as a further education (FE) adviser to the Commission.
You can find out more about them here:
Terms of Reference
The Terms of Reference outline the roles and responsibilities of the DSC and supporting organisations in order to positively progress the crucial agenda over the next three years.
The Disabled Students Commission will meet quarterly over the next three years.