New online guide launched for supporting disabled students

A new online guide, The Guide for Supporting Disabled Students, launches today for all colleagues who work with and support disabled students.

Disabled students make up 18% of the student body but their degree outcomes are lower than students without a disability. Many of the barriers disabled students face are systemic or attitudinal and can prevent them from achieving their potential. It is essential that these barriers are removed for the benefit of all Oxford students.

The guide, created by the Disability Advisory Service in collaboration with colleagues across the collegiate University, sets out a vision for exemplary inclusive practice for disabled students. The guiding principles are:

  • Proactive adjustments that anticipate the needs of disabled students are key
  • An effective communication style that is both sensitive and accessible
  • A framework that is supportive and includes disabled students in conversations about their support
  • A collaborative and consistent approach across the collegiate University.

The Common Framework for supporting disabled students was agreed by the collegiate University in 2014 and aims to create a joined up approach to supporting disabled students, and this new guide provides advice and guidance to colleagues who work alongside them.

Anyone who works with students should take the time to read this guide and apply the useful advice in their interactions with students.

Martin Williams, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Education, says: 

"We all have a role to play in ensuing students have an equal opportunity to achieve their potential. I encourage all colleagues who work with students to take the time to read through the guide and make use of the extensive advice and resources in their approach to their roles."

The guide also sits alongside existing resources for teaching staff including the Flexible and Inclusive Teaching materials and the Introduction to Inclusive Teaching course. The guide, alongside a quick reference guide, is available to view on the Academic Support website.