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Calls for step-change in the way disabled students access and experience higher education

24 Apr 2023 | Advance HE The Disabled Student Commitment, developed by the Disabled Students’ Commission, is a framework to create a more inclusive environment.

Calls for the higher education sector to make the step-change required to create a more inclusive environment are set out in the Disabled Student Commitment.

Developed by the Disabled Students’ Commission, the independent and strategic group funded by the Office for Students, the Commitment aims to secure an enhanced and improved experience for disabled students within higher education. 

Culminating three years of consultation with disabled students, academics and sector organisations, the Disabled Student Commitment provides institutions with a structured and comprehensive framework to measure themselves against. The Commitment first establishes expectations for information sharing and consent. It then offers guidance on four key touchpoints of the higher education journey, outlining the commitments that higher education providers and other organisations should make to give disabled students confidence their needs and expectations will be met. 

Professor Geoff Layer, chair of the Disabled Students’ Commission, said, “We have developed this Commitment because disabled students have told us they want communication, consistency, certainty and choice. 

“The Commitment is a call to the sector and sector bodies to make the step-change required to create a more inclusive environment.” 

Prof Layer said the Commission was asking providers to work in partnership with their disabled students on a statement of commitment which should be updated annually and published on their website, alongside a logo of the Disabled Student Commitment so that disabled students and applicants have confidence in the system, allowing them to get on with their education.  

He said, “We need to create a sense of belonging in which students are able to focus on what they went into higher education for, and not spend untold hours fighting their way through the system.” 

Read the Disabled Student Commitment

Join a webinar to launch the Disabled Student Commitment on Monday 24 April at 10am with speakers from the DSC and representatives from Disabled Students UK (DSUK), National Association of Disability Practitioners (NADP) and UCAS. Book your free place here

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