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Understanding Disability in UK HE: A Student-Centred Approach

A project coordinated by the University of Warwick, King's College London and the University of York

About the Project

Recent research at the University of Warwick, King's College London and the University of York has shown that disabled students report that their non-disabled student peers and academic staff often hold misperceptions and have a poor understanding of disability. For these reasons, this project will co-create a short flexible, open-access disability learning programme for students and staff at these universities to help raise awareness and challenge misperceptions about the lived experience of disabled students. This programme's aims, content, and delivery will be co-designed with disabled students lived experiences and student researchers.

Project Aims

  • To co-create a flexible and disabled student-centred learning programme for staff and students at UK universities to help increase knowledge and understanding of living with a disability
  • To create a learning programme for staff and students: (1) to raise awareness of the lived experience of disabled students; (2) understand how disability can impact students learning and peer relations; (3) understand the need for reasonable adjustments, advocacy, and allyship; (4) provide staff and students with skills and strategies to work in more inclusive ways
  • Share best practices across the sector from existing projects at UoW, KCL, and York. We will adopt a commonly used framework for designing learning programmes in community settings

Project Impact

We aim to create a more inclusive culture amongst students by addressing ableism and misperceptions. By designing a programme based on the lived experiences of disabled students, we want to highlight experiences that they have faced and how advocacy and solidarity/allyship is essential to foster inclusive learning.

The legacy of this project will be a co-created learning programme for students at staff at these three institutes. Academic staff will socialise the learning programme, and can embed the programme within their teaching (e.g., group work support for students) and wider student experiences (e.g., welcome week, course rep training and EDI rep student training).

The learning programme will be shared across institutes and can be shared with other institutes. The course will be created on CANVA which is easily accessible to students. We will present the learning programme and project at Advance HE and the RAISE annual conference. We will also submit a publication to a learning and teaching journal.

Project Team

Project Lead: Dr Jagjeet Jutley-Neilson, Psychology

Co-Lead: Dr Helen Coulshed, Kings College London

Staff Collaborators

Dr Thomas Ritchie (Chemistry)

Julia Sarju (University of York)

Student Collaborators

Tor Riches (WMS)

James Culbert (Psychology)

Poppy Ellis Logan (Kings College London)

Alexander Palmer (Kings College London)

Syeda Tazrin (Kings College London)