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.
Publications and Guidance
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.
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.
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.
Here the Disabled Students’ Commission highlights blogposts and resources from the sector that showcase good practice in relation to disabled student support in HE.
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. The first meeting was held on Monday 9 March 2020.