To support the University's work toward the Disability Standard a group of Senior Disability Champions have been appointed across key business areas, aligned to the themes covered in the Disability Standard:
- Commitment - Chris Ennew, Provost.
- Know-how - Chris Ennew and Rosie Drinkwater, Group Finance Director.
- Adjustments - Dr Hannah Friend, Director of Wellbeing & Safeguarding.
- Recruitment - Karen Terry Weymouth, HR Strategy Director.
- Retention - Karen Terry Weymouth.
- Products and Services - Dr Hannah Friend.
- Suppliers and Partners - Rosie Drinkwater.
- Communication - Jane Furze, Director of Marketing, Communications and Insight.
- Premises - James Breckon, Director of Estates.
- Information and communication technology (ICT) - Tony Pauley, Chief Information & Digital Officer.
- Sport - Lisa Dodd Mayne, Director of Sport & Active Communities.
- Health and Safety - John Phillips, Director of Health & Safety.
- Library - Robin Green, Librarian and Director of Knowledge Group.
James Breckon, Director of Estates
James Breckon joined the University of Warwick in October 2014 as the Director of Estates. James serves as a senior officer within the University reporting directly to the Group Finance Director. He is accountable for three main areas of activity essential for to enable the University to succeed and maintain its global top 10 ranking. Firstly the capital programme of new builds and refurbishments reaching circa. £100m annually. Secondly the safe and effective operation of the University buildings and landscapes and thirdly, the student and staff accommodation service comprising of circa 10000 beds located on and off campus. He is responsible for about a sixth of the workforce at the University employed across two campuses in Coventry and Warwickshire.
In Estates we are working hard to develop and inclusive environment on campus to ensure that our buildings and infrastructure are inclusive and accessible to all. We are achieving this by raising awareness through the Estates Accessibility Team to implement and work/aspire to the Construction Industry Council’s Essential Principles for Achieving and Inclusive Environment. This involves embedding Inclusive Environment Principles across all Estates business, developing Inclusive Design Standards, continuing training and awareness programmes and strengthening communication links between Estates and the disabled community at Warwick. We are a proud winner of the AUDE University Impact Initiative of the Year Award 2020!
We are continuously looking at ways to improve communications about accessibility information including real-time updates or changes. We are developing an action plan to standardise key features on campus to ensure consistency, manage expectations and further an inclusive environment.
Lisa Dodd Mayne, Director of Sport & Active Communities
Warwick Sport are committed to ensuring that all our facilities and programmes that we deliver are inclusive to all. We will ensure that where possible we support disability initiatives and will work with others to ensure we continue to operate best practice.
Rosie Drinkwater, Group Finance Director
Alongside her support for enhanced provision of Carer’s leave, Rosie has played a key role in championing a range of infrastructure projects to enhance accessibility across campus including
- Investment of £30k to provide significant enhancements to accessibility for the WBS buildings.
- Investment of over £100k to provide a high dependency suite for accommodation to have a student and 2 carers within a self-contained area, but still engaged with a residential block.
- Improvements within the Arts Centre as part of a larger scale extension project, including reviews of the remaining toilet and changing facilities.
Through her leadership responsibility for Estates she has pushed to ensure that impact assessments for any new staff/students or changes to buildings continually take place and our Accessibility Officer (Jenny Wheeler) continues to do accessibility audits looking at specific facilities as well as the general environment, with these audits highlighting improvements that need to be made. More specifically, she has played a key role in driving a range of general improvements to routes that require power assisted doors for staff or students.
Chris Ennew, Provost
We are fully committed to our Social Inclusion agenda and our disability work is integral to this. We aim to ensure that all of our policies, processes and facilities are fully inclusive ensuring that all staff, students and visitors to campus have a positive experience whether they are working, learning, living and/or visiting campus.
To demonstrate our ongoing commitment, the University subscribes to the Business Disability Forum, an organisation that provides expert advice and support on all disability issues (visible and non-visible), and which has additionally developed a disability management audit to help organisations measure and improve on their performance for disabled employees, students and other stakeholders. Additionally, in 2018, the University recruited an Accessibility Officer to help inform and progress the buildings and facilities work, not only to ensure compliance but to also inform on best practice.
To help deliver these expectations and progress this work, the University appointed a Disability Standard Steering Group (chaired by the Provost, Chris Ennew). A Disability Taskforce (with sub-groups addressing particular projects) will also act as a driver for change and will serve as a communication channel for the wider Warwick community. The Taskforce has formal reporting responsibility into the Social Inclusion Committee, which is a joint Committee of the Senate and Council. Additionally, all of the above mentioned groups work collaboratively and in consultation with the Disabled Staff Network to inform our disability work, along with engagement with external disability organisations who are best placed to improve our understanding of issues that affect disabled people.
Our promise is that we will all work together to improve our processes/procedures and lines of communication to bring about positive changes and to provide opportunities for our disabled community to gain confidence and reach their full potential in a supportive and inclusive environment.
Dr Hannah Friend, Director of Wellbeing & Safeguarding
Diversity, disability and accessibility are underpinning principles that are embedded across the work of the Wellbeing and Safeguarding group. The University’s Wellbeing Strategy provides a comprehensive framework to deliver institutional objectives for wellbeing and disability, and further reinforces our commitment to providing an inclusive and supportive environment for our entire community.
Jane Furze, Director of Marketing, Communications and Insight
As Director of Marketing, Communications and Insight, it’s an essential part of my role, with my team, to ensure continuous improvement in how our marketing and communications activities enable the University to attract, retain and develop disabled people. Our entire approach is grounded in insight, so we collect and use feedback from a wide range of people to identify opportunities and issues and take action to improve the inclusivity of our content. From 2021, we are leading a web transformation project which will enable us to meet our obligations to make the whole University website accessible – this includes providing training for staff across the wider University on how to make their content accessible.
Robin Green, Librarian and Director of Knowledge Group
I’m Robin Green, the University Librarian.
One of the Library’s 5 core aims is to support ‘the whole student’. It’s important to me that all our students (and University staff of course) have the best possible opportunities to make the most of the learning, research and personal development opportunities on offer at the University, including those the Library provides.
For some years the Library has had a post dedicated to disability support. The postholder looks after our accessible rooms and other facilities, provides training and guidance for disabled users and Library staff, and helps us develop relevant services. There’s also a budget to keep our provision – equipment, software, and so on - up to date, and I’ll supplement it to support a new need or initiative. For example, we created a sensory study room in addition to our existing accessible rooms.
Tony Pauley, Chief Information & Digital Officer
Information and Digital Group's (IDG) role is to support and enable excellence across the University. To be a truly excellent university we must ensure everyone experiences the same high degree of service and opportunity regardless of their situation or ability. Within IDG we are actively seeking greater diversity - across communities and abilities - to enrich our workforce and bring fresh experience and perspective to our work.
John Phillips, Director of Health & Safety
As the Director of Health and Safety for the University it is a central part of my role to support the university's directors, managers and staff in pursuit of the highest standards of health, safety and welfare for all individuals who might come to our campus, whether that be to work or study, or to take part in social or sporting activities. My team provides support across all departments including academic, commercial and professional services department covering a wide range of issues including (but not limited to) food safety, chemical safety, biological safety, building safety and fire safety.
Karen Terry Weymouth, HR Strategy Director
As HR Strategy Director for the University, I have oversight of all aspects of Recruitment and Talent Management and I am committed to raising awareness of the equality dimension in recruitment and development decision making. This means ensuring that all Warwick colleagues embrace the concept of diversity from the initial stages of advertising work opportunities within Warwick, through selection and appointment to those vacancies and at every stage of an employee’s lifecycle. Through the work of my team, we provide various HR, recruitment and reward services to enable a fair and equal environment where all colleagues can achieve their potential. We are continually looking for improvement in our processes and behaviours that support the equality and diversity agenda and welcome all feedback as to how we can further enhance our offering to staff.
You may also be interested in:
Disability Framework (workplace adjustments)
Staff Networks - including Disabled Staff Network
Taskforces and SIC - including Disability Taskforce
Policies - including Disability and Mental Health Policy
Initiatives - including our booklet 'The Most Important Things People Want You To Know About Disability & Caring'