The role of disability representatives
Each School should have a disability representative. The role exists to provide local support for students with disabilities in the Schools delivering their programmes. These members of staff are the beat people to advise and support students on School matters as they have the specific local knowledge and expertise.
This role supports the central disability support services located in the DRC, whose role it is to maintain overall University knowledge and expertise on disability issues and provide the initial point of contact for students and ongoing advice and support for students and staff.
The following role description outlines the kind of responsibilities Disability Representatives may undertake (this description is draft and still under discussion but gives an indication of scope):
Role Description: Disability Representative (School/Service)
To have primary responsibility within their School for:
- the coordination of activities enabling the School to meet its obligations with respect to the Disability Discrimination Act, Part 4 (SENDA), the University’s Disability Statement, Quality Assurance Agency’s Code of practice for the assurance of academic quality and standards in higher education, part 3, Students with disabilities and other relevant legislation or code of practice.
- the development of practices which will enable disabled students with support needs to have equal access to the full range of the University’s provision.
- effective communication between their School, Disability Resource Centre (DRC) and School staff & students regarding support and awareness of the needs of disabled students.
The postholder will:
- provide strategic advice to School staff on their duties and obligations with respect to the DDA Part 4.
- facilitate the professional development of School staff with respect to the DDA Part 4.
- advise School staff on best practice in the delivery of learning & teaching in support of students with specific support needs.
- act as a link between the School and student support services.
Main duties and responsibilities
The postholder will:
- liaise with School staff in order to enable the School to meet legislative requirements and achieve sectoral best practice.
- promote the development of resources and services in their School to enable the School to meet legislative requirements and achieve sectoral best practice.
- facilitate the professional development of School staff with respect to the DDA Part 4 in collaboration with the DRC.
- receive and maintain information from central services on students with disabilities.
- ensure that staff who ‘need to know’ have relevant information to support the needs of students on programmes and that information is treated sensitively and with respect to student confidentiality.
- act as a mediator to resolve issues regarding disability at School level (with DRC support if necessary).
- serve on relevant committees, including the School Learning & Teaching Committee.
- maintain an up-to-date knowledge and understanding of current disability issues.