This new, independent and strategic group has as its key priority to advise, inform and influence 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 will have 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 about the picture of disability in higher education in England.
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.
New guidance for disabled applicants applying to undergraduate courses
The DSC has published new guidance, ‘Considerations for disabled applicants applying to undergraduate courses’, containing a number of considerations that will help disabled applicants to pre-empt any barriers that they may encounter and help to ensure that reasonable adjustments are implemented at the outset of their course.
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.
Considerations for disabled applicants applying to undergraduate courses
This publication has been informed by a series of roundtables run by the DSC in July 2020, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Considerations for disabled students when applying to university in light of Covid-19
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.
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.
Advance HE resources
Advance HE has a track record of working to support the sector in improving provision for disabled students, including undertaking extensive research and publishing sector recommendations. Examples of our past work related to students include:
Strategic approaches to disabled student engagement - read more
Understanding adjustments: supporting staff and students who are experiencing mental health difficulties - read more
Managing reasonable adjustments in higher education - read more
Disability services: supporting international students - read more
Supporting disabled students’ transitions from higher education into employment - read more
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. The first meeting was held on Monday 9 March 2020.