Rethinking disability services for a post-pandemic world

  • 10 March 2021
  • 09:00 - 12:30
  • Online
  • 5

Registration is closed

Rethinking disability services for a post-pandemic worldRethinking disability services for a post-pandemic world

This professional development event for Student Services leaders in higher education invites you to take a fresh look at your disability services in the context of a post-pandemic world. What are the implications of learning virtually for disabled students? What do we need to consider for returning to a post-pandemic campus? And how does a blended learning approach impact how we support disabled students?

AMOSSHE members can find the event resources here:

Members only

This event is an opportunity to think strategically about the future and review current practice. The pandemic introduced many changes to higher education life very quickly, including widespread virtual learning and changes to on-campus study (including social distancing and wearing masks). This event reconsiders, from a disabilities perspective, both established practice and solutions that were introduced rapidly, to ensure that going forward our services are responsive and reflective of needs.

Through presentations and structured discussions this event considers:

  • Challenges and opportunities for supporting disabled students and staff remotely, including appropriate assistive technologies.
  • The post-pandemic campus with disabled students in mind, including guidance and good practice, using physical spaces, orientation training, awareness raising, and identifying what good practice might be missing.
  • The intersection of online, on-campus and blended learning for disabled student support, including the impact on assessments for Disabled Students' Allowances, and the implications for the role of the support worker.
  • The innovative practice that arose from the pandemic context, and using what worked as evidence for taking these initiatives forward into the post-pandemic future.

Location, time and price

This online event takes place on Wednesday 10 March 2021 from 09:00 to 12:30 (GMT) using Zoom.

Here are the delegate prices:

  • AMOSSHE named member - £59 (log in to access this rate)
  • Non-member (other employees of an AMOSSHE member organisation, individuals, not-for-profit and corporate organisations, higher education providers not associated with AMOSSHE) - £99

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Programme and speakers

This event features a mix of presentations, Q&A, interactive workshops and networking discussion.

Time  Session 
09:00 Welcome and context*
Nic Streatfield (AMOSSHE Vice Chair Professional Development and Head of Student Support & Wellbeing, University of East London) and Kelsey Coward (AMOSSHE Executive Member and Head of Operations, Cardiff University) outline the context for the event.

Inclusive design of student-facing interactions: barriers and practical recommendations*
It is undeniable that the pandemic has revealed many shortcomings in provision for disabled students. It has also instigated some improvements that have made a huge difference, allowing disabled students to take a blended approach to learning and accessing services, and secure some of the learning-based adjustments they have been requesting for years. In this session Amy Low (Service Delivery Director) and Adam Tweed (Service Development Manager) from AbilityNet provide a quick summary to the pros and cons of blended / online learning and support for disabled students, including unexpected positives, what has been particularly challenging, and what can we take forward as we hopefully move out of the pandemic situation. Then they share insights on practical tips to run inclusive online sessions (zoning in on removing visual, hearing, cognitive and motor skills related barriers) with Q&A discussion.

09:45 Questions and answers with Amy.
09:50 The post-pandemic campus from a disability perspective*
In this session Pete Quinn (Pete Quinn Consulting) explores what a post-pandemic campus might look like for disabled students. What are the key things universities need to consider given the likely continuation of social distancing, physical estate adjustment (for example access restrictions, one way systems, limited space in venues, increased – and often confusing – use of signage) and the recommended / mandatory wearing of face coverings? How will the continuation of blended learning impact students with a disability, particularly as there may be student choice about what to attend virtually or on campus or there may be mandatory on-campus or virtual sessions? What challenges will this bring to students with a disability, their non-medical help support and disability teams who may need to adjust learning plans for students?
10:15 Questions and answers with Pete.
10:20 Break.
10:35 The implications of blended learning for disabled student support*
This panel session looks at the intersection of online and on-campus support for disabled students. Some students will require a blended approach, while others will prefer to study entirely online or entirely on-campus. How do these considerations impact assessments for Disabled Students' Allowances? And what are the implications for the role of the support worker for working across these three modes of learning? Panellists include Jenny Anderton (Manager, Higher York Access Centre), Anna Pylypczuk (Senior Business Manager, Randstad Student Support) and Gerard Norris (Central Operations Manager, Clear Links).
11:20 Break.
11:35 Thinking positively and creatively about the disabled student experience: workshop
This structured interactive discussion session explores the innovative practice that has arisen in the pandemic context, and how to use this good practice as evidence for taking these initiatives forward into the post-pandemic world. The session provides a space in which to share ideas and concerns, working in small groups with sector colleagues.
12:30 Finish.

*You'll receive recordings of these sessions after the event.

Event sponsors Randstad and Clear Links

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Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

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