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WIHEA Masterclass: Neurodiversity (Specific Learning Differences; SpLDs) and the Student Academic Experience

This interactive masterclass took place on 28 April, via Microsoft Teams. It was aimed at staff members interested in building inclusive curriculums and wider student experiences for disabled students.

Across the Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) sector, we see a positive increase in the number of students starting courses with declared disabilities, particularly Specific Learning Differences (SpLDs) such as Dyslexia and Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia, ADHD and Autistic Spectrum Condition. Neurodiversity encompasses all of these mentioned SpLDs, many of which co-occur or overlap.

However, research across the HEIs has identified that disparities exist when comparing the continuation rates and the learning and teaching experiences of disabled students versus non-disabled students. At the University of Warwick, our TEF submission in 2018 and the Access Participation Plan also echoed these wider sector research findings. This session enabled staff to share experiences and challenges of embedding inclusive practices and, importantly, our disabled students shared their academic learning experience at the University of Warwick.

During the session we:

  • heard from disabled students about their academic experiences at the University of Warwick
  • heard about the findings of a WIHEA funded project which;
    • quantitively surveyed and qualitatively interviewed over 85 Neurodivergent Students (SpLDs) about their academic experiences at the University of Warwick
    • the creation of a digital inclusive practice toolkit created from existing inclusive practices staff at the University of Warwick
    • using inclusive co-production and participatory action research principles to develop student and staff projects.
  • had time to discuss and share experiences of supporting disabled students at the University of Warwick
  • collaborated with colleagues to work through cases studies based on the WIHEA project findings.



There are additional resources connected to this event, which may be of interest to you:

Inclusive Practice Toolkit:Link opens in a new window This toolkit is under construction, but currently includes pedagogical exemplars for staff to use for personal tutoring, academic support, curriculum design, teaching approaches, assessment, and wider student experience initiatives. Exemplars were collected from the Warwick staff community. These exemplars are supported by capturing neurodivergent students learning and student experience voices in pen portraits and infographics. If you have any examples of approaches that you use that work, please email:

Neurodiversity and the Student Experience Interim Project Report:Link opens in a new window contains information and findings from the funded project that developed the above toolkit.


Dr Jagjeet Jutley-Neilson

Associate Professor/Director of Student Experience and Progression

Department of Psychology 

Dr Jagjeet Jutley-Neilson is an Associate Professor and Director of Student Experience and Progression at Warwick. She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA) and a national convenor for the specialist interest group “engaging assessment” for RAISELink opens in a new window. She is also a fellow of the Warwick Institute Higher Education Academy, where she leads the specialist interest group “Neurodiversity and the Student Experience (more hereLink opens in a new window)