AccessHE Disability Practitioners' Conference 2015

On 14 July 2015, AccessHE welcomed over 70 delegates who work with disabled students in all stages of education to the University of Westminster to update their knowledge on the support available to disabled student entering Higher Education (HE).

  1. Chaired by the Head of Research and Postgraduate Courses at London South Bank University, Nicola Martin, the conference was highlighted as an opportunity to focus specifically on the transition into higher education for disabled pupils. Lauren Hedges, AccessHE Operations Manager, provided some context to the event introducing the work of AccessHE and its partners. AccessHE runs five forums which share best practice and work about solutions to widening access challenges in London, and this includes a disability forum for practitioners, a consultative forum for those working to help progress towards higher education for disabled students.
  2. The conference then officially started with a passionate and knowledgeable keynote speech from Barry Sheerman, MP, Huddersfield, who talked about learning from others being crucial.
  3. Following a comprehensive update on the changes to the Disabled Student's Allowance, delegates welcomed current disabled students studying at university and invited them to share their experiences of their transition into HE...
  4. A definite highlight of the day and the most important part of the conference, the students who spoke with passion and commitment left us with some very powerful points.
  5. After a networking lunch, Jisc delivered a fantastic afternoon keynote speaking of educational underpinning behind technology and the resources that Jisc have got for available - for free! Colleagues from London South Bank University then walked us through their current research project on transition mentoring, for which they were seeking extra mentees to join the programme.
  6. The afternoon continued with delegates participating in one of three workshops covering NUS campaigns, additional benefits available to disabled students studying in HE and a Pre-entry Transition Support (PETS) project.
  7. Finally, Yvonne Halloran spoke of her scheme for Ravensbourne students encouraging and supporting them to be entrepreneurs.
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