University of Bristol
12th February 2021 by Ellie Thompson
What was the challenge?
“Increasingly these days we see a lot of students who don’t qualify for Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA), as such they don’t go through a Needs Assessment,” said Andrew Warrington, Disability Adviser, at University of Bristol.
He added: “This might be because they’re an international student or they don’t have enough evidence for Student Finance England for example, so they can’t access support.
“But disabled students still need help and we felt that students may benefit from learning more about how Assistive Technology (AT) can assist.”
What did we do?
“We see D&A recommended a lot in Needs Assessments and students give them great feedback, so we took that as a good sign,” Andrew said.
So he reached out to the team at D&A to see how we could upskill the team in Disability Services at Bristol University in AT. Specifically, they wanted support around different, relevant AT tools, their benefits and how to use them.
The team at D&A spent two half day sessions advising on a range of AT options looking at each one, assessing what each one could do and what the limitations might be, along with how they could be applied to different situations. For example, a tool could be useful for dyslexia, but also be helpful for other students too.
What was the benefit of our approach?
“I had become less confident about what the current AT tools are. We found the training really helpful to get a good sense of what is out there and now feel confident in being able to demo different tools for students. It was great to update our knowledge and learn what the technology can and can’t do.
“I now feel confident to sit with a student and make suitable suggestions that will help them. I also think we will now be able to reach more students than we could do before.
“The trainer from D&A paced the sessions really well, it wasn’t too formal which worked well and allowed people to ask questions which made the sessions more interactive which was helpful.
“We all enjoyed the sessions and got a lot out of them and hope to use D&A again in the future.”
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