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DEMOS Project

Online Materials for Staff Disability Awareness
[Modules] : Assessment


Universities are under increasing pressure to meet the support needs of disabled students. However, in the past, support for disabled students has been arranged in many universities in the UK without coherent policies and systems. Universities have made arrangements for disabled students in assessment on an ad hoc basis (Sharpe and Earle 2000).

Unfortunately, in many cases the level of support disabled students received has been inadequate. Support varies between universities, departments within universities and even between courses within the same department. To improve support HEFCE have funded a number of disability initiatives [External link: Open in new browser window] in HE and introduced the disability premium to the mainstream funding allocation for each university.

Recently there have also been three significant pieces of public policy that will directly affect how universities deal with disabled students. These are listed below:

The Special Educational Needs and Disability Act (2001)

This act makes it unlawful for HE institutions to discriminate against disabled students in all areas of educational provision.
» Find out more about SENDA.

The Human Rights Act

The implementation in British law of the European Convention on Human Rights.
» Find out more about the Human Rights Act.

Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) Code of Practice

The QAA have produced a useful guide by which HEIs may analyse their provision for disabled students and their assessment procedures.
» Find out more about the QAA.

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