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DEMOS Project

Online Materials for Staff Disability Awareness
[Modules] : Admissions


Clearly one of the most important stages for entry into university is the application stage and if universities want to encourage disabled applicants there are a number of considerations to take into account. Disabled people on the whole are underrepresented in higher education and one of the reasons for this might be that the application stage does not consider the support of disabled students. This is becoming increasingly important as initiatives such as widening participation focus on underrepresented groups and new legislation is introduced.

I came on an open day and sat in the department and had a look at the student village and I was very, very impressed with the department and the way they talked to you, and things like that.

- John, Biochemistry degree at the University of Salford.

Currently, information about disability is collected on the application form but for disabled applicants disclosure is an important consideration and many don't say anything. It is important that applicants get a clear picture of the support available in the university and that support is arranged as early as possible before entry. This requires information to be produced in accessible formats and for policies and procedures to be in place. Visitor days such as Open Days and interviews should also take into account the needs of disabled applicants.

I thought I might as well come up and see what it was like. I got the shock of my life at the time.

- S.B., Business Studies.

If you are considering reviewing the process for dealing with disabled applicants one starting point might be the Quality Assurance Agency's Code of Practice.
Once your procedure has been reviewed and improvements made, you can be happy that disabled students will feel welcome to apply to your institution.

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