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AMOSSHE Insight

AMOSSHE Insight: disability awareness and anticipating reasonable adjustments

This project, undertaken by Falmouth Exeter Plus, aims to identify good practice for increasing disability awareness and embedding anticipatory reasonable adjustments across student support service functions, by evaluating the effectiveness and impact of three blended-learning methods.

Principal investigator: Anita Thomas, Head of accessibility and inclusive learning, Falmouth Exeter Plus.

Falmouth Exeter PlusTotal award from AMOSSHE: £3,500.

Find out more about the project:

Background

Falmouth Exeter Plus (FX Plus), and its key stakeholders Falmouth University and the University of Exeter, are committed to ensuring an accessible and inclusive student experience across all stages of the student journey.

FX Plus has some practical challenges for providing accessible Student Services in a number of older buildings on a hillside campus, and across the student support workforce there are varying levels of understanding about the practical requirements to make reasonable adjustments. Therefore, it is a priority for FX Plus to increase the disability awareness and knowledge of the legal duty to make reasonable adjustments among staff, and embed accessibility and inclusive practices across all areas of student support services.

For disability awareness training to have an impact on behaviours, policies and practices, there needs to be a combination of both knowledge gain and an opportunity to apply the learning. This project trials and evaluates the use of three blended-learning methods for increasing disability awareness and embedding anticipatory reasonable adjustments.

The three blended-learning methods are:

  • Training to facilitate transfer of learning, followed by an e-learning module about disability awareness, supported by helpline advice following completion.
  • Training to facilitate transfer of learning, followed by an e-learning module about disability awareness, supported by helpline advice following completion. Then an action planning meeting within a month to explore how the principles covered in the e-learning can be applied in practice in participants’ professional areas, leading to agreed planned actions.
  • Face-to-face training about disability awareness, supported by helpline advice following completion. Then an action planning meeting within a month to explore how the principles covered in the e-learning can be applied in practice in participants’ professional areas, leading to agreed planned actions.

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Aims and objectives

The project team aims to evaluate the most effective learning method(s), and use the evaluation findings to collate and disseminate good practice guidelines for the higher education Student Services’ sector on methods for increasing disability awareness and embedding anticipatory reasonable adjustments.

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Methodology

The team will evaluate the success of each learning method by undertaking:

  • Knowledge surveys of all study participants prior to, and following, each of the three different blended-learning interventions.
  • Surveys of students to measure and evaluate feedback on confidence in staff disability awareness prior to, and at intervals following, the different learning intervention(s).
  • Surveys of individuals and case study areas to identify changes in practices and policies at intervals following the different learning intervention(s).
  • Reviews and analysis of documentation and data.

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Intended outputs

The project team will produce a final report on the survey data, interviews and documentation analysis, with a focus on four key sets of data:

  • Disability awareness knowledge gain, cross-referenced with the three different blended-learning methods used.
  • Examples of practice and policy changes that embed anticipatory reasonable adjustments in student support services’ functions.
  • Student feedback on their confidence in staff disability awareness, cross-referenced with the three different blended-learning methods used.
  • Impact analysis of the blended-learning interventions on organisational practices and policies, with recommendations for future interventions.

The team will also collate and disseminate good practice guidelines for the higher education Student Services’ sector on methods for increasing disability awareness and embedding anticipatory reasonable adjustments.

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AMOSSHE, The Student Services Organisation is a UK non-profit professional association. Company registration number 4778650.
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