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Designing for inclusion and the role of the disability practitioner Caroline Davies and Tina Elliott IMPACT Associates Eileen Laycock, Disability Manager.

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Presentation on theme: "Designing for inclusion and the role of the disability practitioner Caroline Davies and Tina Elliott IMPACT Associates Eileen Laycock, Disability Manager."— Presentation transcript:

1 Designing for inclusion and the role of the disability practitioner Caroline Davies and Tina Elliott IMPACT Associates Eileen Laycock, Disability Manager University of Westminster June 2010

2 We will be looking at… What are competence standards? Setting inclusive learning outcomes and assessment criteria University of Westminster ICDS project – using project resources to support inclusive practices How disability officers can work with academic colleagues to promote inclusion

3 Competence standards Pre-set ‘Competence Standards’ replace the ‘academic standards’ justification for discriminating against disabled students (DDA, 2006) What are competence standards? Will this be changed by the Equality Act?

4 Setting standards In HE, standards are traditionally applied: for selecting applicants at admission when learning outcomes are set for assessment criteria and marking when ranking students for the conferment of awards How does this apply to setting competence standards?

5 A competence standard is... “an academic, medical or other standard applied by or on behalf of an education provider for the purpose of determining whether a person has a particular level of competence or ability” (DDA, Part 4 Code of Practice, 2006)

6 5 key characteristics 1.They apply to individual courses, not whole subject areas 2.They apply equally to all students not just disabled students 3.They are set by the University/ individual Schools, and sometimes by professional bodies 4.They must not directly discriminate against disabled people 5.They must be a “proportionate” way of achieving a “legitimate aim”

7 Making reasonable adjustments There is no duty to make reasonable adjustments to a standard which is defined as a competence standard. However... Universities do have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to the process of demonstrating that a disabled student or applicant is able to meet a CS.

8 When might a discriminatory competence standard be justifiable? Avoiding discrimination by systematic review – the University of Edinburgh’s 5 step test transparency - publishing and publicising key course competence standards in major documents Discrimination and competence standards

9 Will competence standards still apply? ECU advice is that competence standards are included in the Act and the position remains consistent with the DDA Discrimination provisions and the ‘content of the curriculum’ exemption Code of Practice due, January 2011 Implications of the Equality Act 2010

10 Learning outcomes Teaching and learning methods and Assessment criteria Three key elements of course design

11 What are learning outcomes? Learning outcomes – the core elements Deciding what is core Learning outcomes

12 What is the pedagogical purpose of a requirement, how does it achieve that purpose and are there other more accessible ways of achieving this? Is there any negative impact of the learning outcome on disabled students? Would the learning outcome be substantially changed if a particular requirement were removed or substituted? Have changing circumstances, practices or technology made a previous requirement in a learning outcome redundant? Key questions for inclusive learning outcomes

13 1. At the end of this module the successful student will be expected to be able to make a persuasive fluent oral presentation. 2. At the end of this module the successful student will be expected to be able to access major data sources including published statistics, government surveys, on-line and CD Rom databases, and the Internet Example learning outcomes

14 The ICDS project was a three-year TQEF funded programme at the University of Westminster Aim: to develop and embed university- wide approaches to inclusive curriculum design and delivery to support disabled students’ learning Inclusive Curriculum for Disabled Students project

15 Supporting staff to develop inclusive curriculum design and learning and teaching practices Involving staff and disabled students in identifying good practice and barriers Reviewing approaches to inclusion within curriculum validation and review Promoting inclusive approaches that are embedded in mainstream processes and practices Objectives

16 A series of focus groups with staff and disabled students A set of Learning & Teaching Guides Staff and student Case Studies Four key Briefings Dissemination activities Strategies for course validation & review A comprehensive website of resources services/inclusive-curriculum-for-disabled-students Key achievements

17 Good practice statements with quotes from staff and disabled students 13 Learning & Teaching Guides covering:  Barriers to learning for disabled students  Recruitment, admission and induction  Lectures, seminars and tutorials  Practical-based learning  Placements and off-campus learning  Learning and teaching resources  Assessment  Validation and review, monitoring and feedback  Research programmes  Personal tutoring Learning & Teaching Guides

18 9 case studies – 7 from disabled students and 2 from staff Covering different learning and teaching scenarios and students with a range of impairments Identifying barriers and looking at ways of overcoming them Identifying transferable inclusive practice Case Studies

19 4 Briefings produced to complement the Learning & Teaching Guides covering the following topics: Competence Standards Writing Inclusive Learning Outcomes and Course Descriptions Inclusive Employability Curriculum: Key Issues Guidance on Validation Briefings

20 Aim was to promote awareness of the resources and how they could be used to support inclusion High profile Launch event School-based meetings Seminars for key staff, e.g. Learning and Teaching Coordinators, Disability Tutors For all academic staff: input at Learning & Teaching Symposia at each project stage Using project resources to support inclusive design

21 Work with School Disability Tutors to support validation panels on some targeted courses that are coming up for revalidation Set up a series of lunchtime “Question Time” sessions Weave into all staff development workshops the issues of inclusive design and competence standards. This is often at the root of many of the barriers faced by disabled students Future ICDS plans

22 Benefits of Competence Standards If set and implemented appropriately they: help prevent discrimination clarify expectations and outcomes related to specific courses help staff make consistent decisions help disabled applicants choose a course where they can meet standards help all students to understand what is expected of them

23 What disability officers can do to promote inclusion informing, influencing, collaborating finding allies and champions opportunities and threats identifying target audiences using a variety of means validation and review activities learning and teaching events procedural documents keeping inclusion on the agenda

24 Useful resources ICDS web site Two articles ‘Designing for Inclusion’ from the Skill Journal, vol 95 2009 University of Edinburgh - 5 step test ECU Briefing on the Equality Act

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