A photo of a man speaking in front of students.

With individualised assistive tools and strategies in place, life-enhancing results are possible.

Our workshops promote this vision, focusing upon two main areas of collective knowledge: lived experience and expertise.

Assistive technology, strategies & approaches

Bespoke workshops designed to introduce you to Assistive Technology (AT). We have developed an integrated approach, combining study strategies with assistive technologies to enable you to flourish and complete everyday tasks with confidence and independence.

Amazing Apps

Accessibility for the Road Ahead

This session will enhance awareness of physical access when planning and developing changes and/or solutions to the built environment. 

Attendees will be given a first-hand insight into the challenges, both seen and unseen, that cause significant barriers for disabled people (students, staff, and guests).  

By the end of the session, attendees will: 

  • Have developed their understanding of access equity and its applications in context with the campus. 
  • Be able to demonstrate knowledge of the social model of disability, in a practical space context. 
  • Be able to identify potential barriers experienced by disabled people, inclusive of staff, students and visitors. 
  • Understand how to actively remove or reduce physical barriers experienced by disabled people.

Enquire here

Supporting Your Mental Health

This workshop will introduce you to the world of amazing assistive apps!

Smartphones and tablets are increasingly becoming everyday study and learning technologies. In the session, we will provide an overview of how you can enhance study strategies by using a range of apps for Apple iOS and Android tablets/smartphones.

We have tried and tested a wealth of apps/software which encompass many facets of studying and university life. 

We have explored tools for: 

  • Planning and composition (mapping and voice recognition)
  • Reading & research (text-to-speech)
  • Scanning and conversion (OCR), 
  • Revision (flashcards)
  • Note-taking (recording) 
  • Organisation
  • Time and task management
  • Spelling and proofreading
  • Presentations and inclusive assessment
  • Wellbeing and mindfulness

By the end of the session, attendees will:

  • Have developed their understanding of popular free assistive apps.
  • Be able to demonstrate knowledge of why certain assistive apps benefit students and how these can overcome particular barriers.
  • Be able to identify potential apps and in-built strategies for students who may be struggling in certain study areas. 
  • Have an improved understanding of how free apps work alongside Microsoft 365 and PC/MAC in-built software.
  • Be up to speed with recent app developments and updates.
  • Be able to implement apps and strategies that foster efficiency into assessments

Enquire here

AT Exploration

Dragon Dictation

This workshop will explore the tangible benefits of Dragon, a speech-to-text tool that allows you to dictate directly into a variety of computer programs such as Microsoft Word.

Dragon can support users with specific learning differences like dyslexia or dyspraxia to dictate and edit documents using voice commands. The more it is used, the more accurate and personalised it becomes. 

Dragon also allows users to control most aspects of their computer using voice commands, supporting users who find keyboard and mouse control inaccessible to operate their computers without assistance.

Enquire here

Evernote

An introduction to using Evernote, including a variety of simple techniques for improving organisation, aiding memory and managing anxiety. The workshop will feature a hands-on exploration of this cross-platform tool: laptop, MacBook, iPhone/iPad, Samsung/HTC, smartphone/tablet – all are welcome!

Evernote has entered the common lexicon, featuring on many “Top Apps” lists and is highly praised by technology experts. It is being used by many students, some of whom find it pre-installed on their DSA computers. But with all its potential, approaching it can seem daunting, especially if trying to advise a student on the best ways to use it.

This hands-on workshop is here to help! We will look at how Evernote can augment the existing strategies that you and your students already use, with powerfully enabling results. During the workshop, you will explore the features and functions of Evernote both on a Windows PC/Apple MAC, as well as a variety of additional interconnected smartphone and tablet applications that make Evernote an invaluable tool for both study and everyday tasks.

Attendees are required to bring at least one compatible device (laptop/tablet/smartphone – the more the merrier) with Evernote installed. Diversity and Ability will provide easy-to-follow guides to install the application on various devices, and create an account.

Enquire here

Google Keep

Google Keep is, essentially, a syncing note-taking tool. You can type notes, create reminders, build lists, add photos, or use audio to help capture what’s on your mind. 

Google Keep’s visual layout organises all of your notes like sticky notes on a bulletin board. All of your Google Keep notes are stored on the cloud so they are accessible from any device. 

The workshop will include live demos and we welcome attendees to have Google Keep downloaded on their phones or open on their web browser.

Enquire here

Zotero

Do you … ?

… save random URLs in a Word or Google Doc?

… save article PDFs on your desktop and as email attachments?

… have a pile of article printouts sitting on your desk?

… write down citations on sticky notes and post them to your monitor?

… stay up late the night before an essay is due reconstructing your citations?

If you answered yes to any of the above … the answer is YES, you need Zotero, a powerful tool for organising citations and creating bibliographies

Among its many benefits, Zotero allows you to:

  • Collect bibliographic information with the click of a button instead of typing 
  • Gather references as you research – instead of at the last minute 
  • Automatically style references according to Harvard or Chicago or whichever style you choose

Enquire here

Comprehensive Training

Mobile Assistive Technology

Smartphones and tablets are now designed with a range of exciting built-in assistive technologies. In this workshop, we will explore how mobile tools can support your study strategies.  

The workshop balances practical exploration and discussion of how mobile AT can reinforce and support agile and integrated study strategies. We will look at:

  • Text-to-speech
  • Voice recognition
  • Note-taking 
  • Mind mapping

Enquire here

Two-day Accredited Training

his two-day workshop will provide hands-on training with both the leading Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) software packages and the latest smartphone and tablet apps. This workshop can take place at your institution or at our Brighton training suite where accommodation can be organised as part of the cost. 

The DSA programs will include: 

  • Text-to-speech: ClaroRead, TextHelp and free alternatives 
  • Mind mapping: Inspiration, MindView and the free package XMind
  • Speech recognition:  Dragon Naturally Speaking 

Together, these packages form the core of DSA provision for SpLD students. But this won’t be one for the techies: our focus is on the enabling strategies these programs facilitate and the AT skills needed to employ those strategies. 

We will also see how free and low-cost apps can complement traditional DSA provision. These AT alternatives can be used to help address the imbalances that many learners face when restricted from accessing AT support via the DSA. With learning landscapes dramatically changing, forging forwards we must ensure that support provided encompasses all diverse learners in Higher Education, including those ineligible for DSA, keeping it agile and inclusive to all!

Enquire here

Strategies for Support

Blind & Vision Loss

This session examines types of blindness and vision loss and explores some of the strategies available to support visual impairment in work and education.

We will demonstrate some of the most useful mobile and desktop apps and will signpost to a range of other useful strategies and technologies for individuals with Visual Impairment/Vision Loss/Blindness.

Enquire here

Deaf & Hearing Loss

This workshop will give an introduction to types of d/Deafness and hearing impairment and explore some of the strategies available to support hearing impairment in work and life in general.

We will cover inclusive adaptations that everyone can make to their methods of communication as well as tools that hearing-impaired people can use to help access the world.

We will demonstrate how mobile apps can be used for amplification and transcription and will signpost to a range of other useful strategies and technologies.

Enquire here

Study Skills

Academic Writing, Editing and Formatting

Academic writing is clear, focused, structured, and backed up by evidence. Ideas need to be developed, analysed, and referenced accurately. Although the tone remains formal it shouldn’t be complex and doesn’t require the use of long sentences and complicated vocabulary.  

Academic writing’s purpose is to aid the reader’s understanding and exists as an assessment to gauge your knowledge of specific ideas and your ability to explain these in your own words. 

In this session, we will cover skills to improve your academic writing. We will unpack creating a clear paragraph structure, arranging points logically, using signalling words, and maintaining an active, critical voice.  

You will also learn how to format, edit, and revise your work. Most writing will require several drafts and revisions to improve its clarity and structure.  

The session will conclude by covering how you can use digital tools to do a lot of the hard work for you. We will demonstrate the tools in Microsoft Word along with referencing, text-to-speech, proofreading and tone of voice AI solutions to maximise your digital toolkit! 

The technology covered: 

  • Microsoft Word  
  • Zotero 
  • Hemmingway/Grammarly 

Enquire here

Critical Essay Planning and Literature Evaluating

Being able to critically evaluate the information you read in peer-reviewed articles, reviews, reports, and books will save you time by allowing you to focus on the points that matter. You will be able to unpack sources, critically analyse evidence, and write clearer academic arguments.  

In this session, you will discover why critically evaluating sources is important, gain tips and tools to help you academically evaluate more effectively, and understand how to store and track sources across various media and platforms.  

In addition, the session will unpack the principles of planning, an important initial stage that provides the foundation of all writing assignments. We will cover how to interpret your assignment, create a schedule, and plan your research by identifying suitable keywords, phrases, and avenues to investigate. 

Throughout the session, we will embed the use of digital tools to make this stage of your work as efficient as possible. Guidance will include how you can use in-built tools of Microsoft Word and mind mapping solutions to enhance your ability to create a clear and effective digital workspace.  

The technology covered: 

  • XMind/Ayoa  
  • Microsoft Word 

Enquire here

Enhancing Your Focus, Attention and Concentration

Whether you’re finding it hard to concentrate, focus your attention, or clear your mind of distracting thoughts, this workshop will introduce you to simple study strategies to enhance the way you study.

In this session, you will:

  • Discover how to be mindful of your focus, attention, and energy levels 
  • Learn what we mean by cognitive resources and how you can allocate and manage them to avoid overload
  • Gain tips to help remain motivated through active tasking and rewarding
  • Reflect on how your own learning styles compliments study strategies that mitigate boredom 
  • Learn how to create a study environment that minimises distractions

In addition, the session will unpack the principles of attention including both ‘selective’ and ‘divided’ attention and how it can shift in relation to your course dynamic and learning style.

Enquire here

Tips, Tricks & Shortcuts

Better Notetaking

Technology can make studying a whole lot easier.  At Diversity and Ability, we believe that all students should have access to assistive technology, no matter their ability.

The aim of the ‘Tips, Tricks & Shortcuts’ workshop series is to provide additional awareness and training on the assistive technologies that are widely available to students.

This workshop is focused on how technology can be used to improve the speed, accuracy and usefulness of note-taking.

We will be discussing a number of solutions that are available to you, looking at how they can be implemented within both the Microsoft 365 suite and your own study style and note-taking habits.

In particular, we will be looking at Audio Notetaker, a note-taking solution that gives you the ability to record, make typed notes, add drawings, and take photos on the go. We will then look at how this information can be viewed, condensed and absorbed to make revision less daunting.

Enquire here

Managing Your Procrastination

Technology can make studying a whole lot easier.  At Diversity and Ability, we believe that all students should have access to assistive technology, no matter their ability.

The aim of the ‘Tips, Tricks & Shortcuts’ workshop series is to provide additional awareness and training on the assistive technologies that are widely available to students.

In this workshop, we will cover how to use technology to stay focused while studying remotely. Avoiding distractions and creating an effective study space in your home can be a challenge. However, there are strategies and solutions that can be put in place to better organise your work and study flow.

In particular, we will:

  • Discuss ideas to create better work/life separation while working at home to make it easier to work and also rest and relax
  • Consider strategies to create an effective computer desktop workspace, including file/cloud management and screen/font colour, size and brightness
  • Encourage the importance of timetabling for self-study and use of task-based time planning to prioritise correctly

Enquire here

Managing Your Workload, Time & Ideas

Technology can make studying a whole lot easier.  At Diversity and Ability, we believe that all students should have access to assistive technology, no matter their ability.

The aim of the ‘Tips, Tricks & Shortcuts’ workshop series is to provide additional awareness and training on the assistive technologies that are widely available to students.

Often find your head full of tasks, ideas, and deadlines? Is your desk sometimes littered with sticky notes and to-do lists? ​

If so (or if you work alongside someone like this) then this workshop is for you!​

In this session, we will look at what technology exists outside of the Microsoft suite to improve your ability to manage your workflow, time and ideas more efficiently.​

We will begin by looking at digital mind mapping and how this can be adapted to not necessarily replace but to enhance your current working style.​

Next, we will look at how your thoughts and ideas, once organised, can be developed into an effective workflow. ​

Enquire here

Microsoft 365 and/or the Google Suite

Technology can make studying a whole lot easier.  At Diversity and Ability, we believe that all students should have access to assistive technology, no matter their ability.

The aim of the ‘Tips, Tricks & Shortcuts’ workshop series is to provide additional awareness and training on the assistive technologies that are widely available to students.

Almost all of us use Microsoft 365 or the Google Suite on a daily basis however we might not be using these programs to their fullest potential. Both Microsoft and Google have built their suites to include programs that work better together. By understanding how each program complements the other, users can start working more accurately and efficiently. 

Features are added all the time to make Microsoft 365 and the Google suite an excellent AT tool for students. This hands-on workshop will bring these to life,  focusing on the most important underused features. 

We will also share and discuss the ways in which these features can be used as part of wider assistive strategies for assignment writing.

Enquire here

Perfect Presenting

Technology can make studying a whole lot easier.  At Diversity and Ability, we believe that all students should have access to assistive technology, no matter their ability.

The aim of the ‘Tips, Tricks & Shortcuts’ workshop series is to provide additional awareness and training on the assistive technologies that are widely available to students.

In this workshop, we will discuss presenting and how you can use technology to boost your presentation skills, both in terms of how you deliver information but also how it is displayed to your audience.

Microsoft Powerpoint has been used for years and yet many still aren’t fully aware of all its hidden tips and tricks and likewise, Google Slides is becoming ever more popular with students who want to work collaboratively. In this workshop, we will look at both of these solutions and how they can be used to create and deliver interesting and informative presentations.

With study and working life moving ever further online, we will also use this workshop to discuss how best to use this technology alongside Microsoft Teams to deliver effective online presentations.

Enquire here

Ready To Revise

Technology can make studying a whole lot easier.  At Diversity and Ability, we believe that all students should have access to assistive technology, no matter their ability.

The aim of the ‘Tips, Tricks & Shortcuts’ workshop series is to provide additional awareness and training on the assistive technologies that are widely available to students.

Run by assistive technology experts, this workshop will look at how students can utilise simple tips and tricks to organise their revision, meet deadlines, and remain calm and focused throughout the assessment period.

In particular, the session will look at how students can use the Microsoft 365 suite along with mind mapping solutions, text-to-speech software, and focus apps to enhance their ability to create an effective study and revision strategy.

Enquire here

Staying Organised, Focused & Motivated

Much of your learning at university is through independent study, requiring you to organise your time effectively. Improved organisation and time management will enhance your clarity of thought, allowing you to carry out each stage efficiently and effectively, producing higher-quality pieces of work.  

In this session, we will reflect on how you currently spend your time and how you could manage it more effectively. We will explore techniques to organise your tasks, focus your energy, prioritise your workflows, and avoid likely distractions. 

From daily planning strategies to cloud-based apps, the session will give you an understanding of what solutions are out and how they can work best for your learning working style. We will introduce and demonstrate digital solutions, both mobile and desktop based that will lend you a helping hand throughout your studies.   

The technology covered: 

  • Google Keep  
  • Notion  
  • Microsoft Calendar   
  • Habitica  
  • In-built Apple iOS/Android features

Enquire here

Utilising Your Inbox & Digital Calendar

Our inboxes and calendars underpin much of our work, but are we using them to their fullest potential? 

The abundance of buttons and tabs can put some people off; it can seem confusing and complicated, especially when coordinating meetings, documents, tasks and reminders. But it’s quite brilliant, and most people just need a point in the right direction. 

In this session, we will explore many of the under-used features of your inbox and calendar. 

From automated email filtering and tasking to synchronised location reminders and meeting agendas, we will provide a space for you to practice how to embed new skills into your current working routines. 

Throughout the session, we will keep accessibility in mind and will highlight how particular features utilise built-in assistive technology, such as speech-to-text to improve access and useability.

Enquire here

Equality, Diversity & Inclusive Practice

Enhancing inclusion isn’t just the right thing to do. When it’s done right, disability inclusion brings multiple advantages across all areas of your institution. It provides a renewed focus on staff and student experience, promoting openness and wellbeing. It builds community, creating a welcome for all: students, staff and visitors. It fosters an environment in which retention, performance and belonging are valued and enhanced.

Accessibility

Inclusive Design and Communications

Ensuring content is developed accessibly is an essential part of inclusion as well as compliance. 

71% of disabled people will click away from a web or module page if we feel it is inaccessible. The information we need is there, but it’s hidden in long words, complex sentences and difficult design. 

In our training, we explore how you can embed simple accessibility principles and practices effortlessly into your work to make content accessible for all. This includes:

  • Writing effective alternative text images and captions and transcripts for media.
  • Using accessible language, tone and sentence structure at a suitable reading level.
  • Embedding accessible links and page formatting to documents, module pages and presentations
  • Exploring digital navigation and reading order importance
  • Understanding how designs and styles are accessible through accessible colours, icons and visual cues

Enquire here

Inclusivity Through Digital Accessibility

The same way buildings should have access ramps, digital text should be readable. It sounds straightforward, and yet because of knowledge gaps, it can often be overlooked. 

In this session, attendees will be introduced to the access barriers that exist in digital content, with a specific focus on how we can embed simple principles and practices to make digital content accessible for all. 

The session will also cover:  

  • The practical benefits and legislative context for making content accessible. 
  • How to ensure your documents are accessible, specifically PDFs and how we can improve their accessibility.   
  • Assistive Technology that all staff can use to access and create digital content.

Enquire here

Inclusivity Through Physical Accessibility

This session will enhance awareness of physical access when planning and developing changes and/or solutions to the built environment. 

Attendees will be given a first-hand insight into the challenges, both seen and unseen, that cause significant barriers for disabled people (students, staff, and guests).  

By the end of the session, attendees will: 

  • Have developed their understanding of access equity and its applications in context with the campus. 
  • Be able to demonstrate knowledge of the social model of disability, in a practical space context. 
  • Be able to identify potential barriers experienced by disabled people, inclusive of staff, students and visitors. 
  • Understand how to actively remove or reduce physical barriers experienced by disabled people.

Enquire here

Core Disability Awareness

Changing The Way We Understand Disability​

To fully appreciate and practice the transformative potential of disability inclusion, we must first understand the realities of inaccessibility.​

Our facilitator will share their own lived experience as a disabled person to discuss how we must change how we perceive and understand disability. We will explore the concept of disability, how disablism arises, and why accessible practice is essential.​

We will demonstrate how certain practices exist, particularly in education, that manifest and often create disabling and unproductive environments, to the detriment of all. ​

However, it is not all doom and gloom, and attendees will see how inclusive and accessible change is not only the right thing to do but will contribute to a more positive learning and working environment.

By the end of the session, attendees will:

  • Have an increased awareness, understanding, and confidence around how we talk about disability and communicate with disabled people​.
  • Understand the models of disability and how they interact with staff and student identities and disclosure rates.​
  • Have a greater understanding of digital accessibility, including relevant regulations and legislation for public sector bodies.
  • Have a clearer sense of the barriers disabled staff may experience, the underlying structural causes, and the adjustments they can make to reduce these barriers.
  • Be able to identify exclusionary barriers, while also understanding how and why accessible practices are crucial for staff and student retention and attainment.
  • Have the opportunity to consider their roles and responsibilities in creating an accessible working space for all staff.
  • Be able to build stronger rapport with the disabled staff community by establishing a supportive, non-judgmental working dynamic.

Enquire here

Embedding Principles In Practice

Once a foundation of awareness is created, it’s crucial to progress principles into practice. By exploring the next steps, we can move from initial awareness to active inclusion, allowing for a sustained, accessible change across the university 

The session will examine examples of good practice across the higher education sector, providing insight into what disability inclusion looks like in reality. We’ll consider the physical, digital, and structural space and attendees will learn how the social model of disability can be interpreted across a range of environments. We’ll also highlight common factors of success and pitfalls to be avoided when seeking to make progressive change.

The session will also give attendees the chance to reflect on their own roles and responsibilities. From both a personal and collective perspective, we can begin to identify opportunities for inclusive change at the university. 

By the end of the session, attendees will:

  • Feel better equipped to support disabled colleagues by signposting to effective resources and services. 
  • Consider accessibility through the social model of disability to address inclusive language, etiquette, and tangible change more effectively.   
  • Outline what reasonable adjustments are within the context of the Equality Act, the institution’s framework, and sector best practice.  
  • Be able to implement small everyday practices that foster accessibility and improve the experiences of disabled staff.
  • Have the confidence to begin embedding strategic change, including team and personal action plans. 
  • Have a greater understanding of what good practice looks like by examining core sector case studies and examples of effective, accessible change.

Enquire here

Legislation & Rights

From The Idiots Act to the Equality Act, this session will explore how legislation and rights have progressed in the UK. 

Should I share my diagnosis with an employer? What are my rights when faced with inaccessibility and discrimination? These are two common anxieties held by disabled people.

We will explore both of them in this session, providing a space to better know your rights, learn how you are protected, and maximise leverage when facing disablism. 

By first looking at the disclosure dynamic, we will give attendees an understanding of what it means to disclose and, therefore, the tools to better advise members and colleagues who raise this concern.  

The second half of the session will examine what the Equality Act 2010 means for employers and disabled employees. We will look at why it exists and what staff should expect as a legal benchmark for accessibility in education and the workplace.

Enquire here

Theory & Language

In this session, we will explore disabled people’s history in the UK, with a particular focus on the evolution of theory and legal language. 

By understanding the historical experiences of disabled people, we can reconsider the models of disability, their uses, and ways to develop a stronger and more progressive understanding of disability.  

In addition, we will explore where the UK’s language of disability has come from, and why the disabled community use the language they do today.

Attendees will come away from the session with the confidence to inclusively communicate with disabled people. We will also establish communication principles that can be shared will others, allowing for continuity when it comes to language.

Enquire here

Identity

Dismantling Bias & Celebrating Accessibility

Designed for higher education staff.

This session will explore what we mean by bias, with a particular focus on unconscious (or implicit) bias.   

We will provide a non-judgmental space to examine the associations that we hold and how they lead to quick judgment and assessment. 

The session expands on our core session, Changing The Way We Understand Disability by discussing how societal stereotypes and cultural influences lead to biases that cause disabling environments. By increasing our awareness of unconscious bias, we can begin to mitigate it. 

From unconscious bias action plans, EDI resources, and learning around allyship, attendees will also be introduced to the practical actions that they can begin to implement.

Enquire here

Exploring Staff Identify & Belonging

Designed for higher education staff.

This session will focus on the interweaving web of identities that make up an educational environment and what this means when creating an inclusive space. We will discuss the idea of intersectionality, a term many may have heard but few are sure of its practical meaning.  

We will explore the relationship between identity and belonging and how the workplace can help progressively nurture what this means for both students and staff. 

We will also explore what we mean by bias, with a particular focus on unconscious (or implicit) bias. We will provide a non-judgmental space to examine the associations that we hold and how they lead to quick judgment and assessment.

Lastly, the session will provide an active space for discussion. Allowing attendees time to consider examples of practice across the university and the higher education sector. We will focus on common factors of success and pitfalls to be avoided when seeking to make progressive, sustained change towards belonging.

Together, we’ll reflect on what we have learnt and how principles can be put into practice to enhance the experiences of all staff and students at the university.

Enquire here

Inclusion Beyond Access: A New Approach to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)

Designed for higher education staff.

Part 1: Access is not inclusion  

The session begins by highlighting the gulf between gaining access and being included. We address the legal framework behind accessibility, summarising the current and historical landscape of widening access to higher education. You’ll be shown how moving beyond simply providing access can improve student retention and enhance the diversity of research output.  

We’ll introduce a series of varied examples that illustrate how access does not equate to inclusion. You’ll gain a holistic perspective on the staff and student journey, exploring access and inclusion through the physical, digital and cultural lens. Part 1 concludes by analysing the barriers that marginalised groups face when seeking to participate in the UK’s established higher education system.  

Part 2: Enhancing EDI and embedding intersectionality  

Part 2 suggests how we can enhance traditional ways of approaching EDI, breaking down inclusion barriers. This isn’t a case of reinventing the wheel. Instead, we illustrate a refreshed outlook towards diversity. Diversity data is important, but it’s only valuable when we think critically about how and why we collect and interpret it. 

From legislative requirements and strategic planning to resource investment and societal changes, we present a practical, joined-up perspective to enhanced EDI. 

Part 3: Embedding the social model and championing neurodiversity   

Part 3 introduces the social model, a core approach and principle that allows for inclusion to go beyond access. You’ll learn how to begin embedding the social model in all that EDI entails. In doing so,  we suggest that leadership decisions can be made more efficiently and in line with strategic and cultural aims.  

Attendees will see what good practice looks like in reality. We cover both micro and macro examples in the UK to unpack how universities have enhanced EDI and the successes they’ve seen as a result. Part 3 concludes by summarising particular patterns and factors of success to provide you with a series of manageable next steps.

Enquire here

Intersectionality, What Is It & Why Is It Important?

Designed for higher education staff.

At D&A, we regularly talk about how crucial it is to take an intersectional approach when considering diversity and inclusion.  

However, many are unsure of what we mean by intersectionality, with even more uncertainty around how it plays out in a practical sense. 

This session will provide attendees with an introduction to intersectionality, with a key focus on the interweaving web of identities that make up an educational environment and what this means when creating an inclusive space.   

We will explore the relationship between identity and belonging and how the workplace can help progressively nurture what this means for both students and staff.

Enquire here

Student Experience

A Disabled Student’s Journey To Higher Education

Designed for higher education staff.

A student’s transition to higher education often begins a long time before they finally arrive on campus. The change can be intimidating, so it is crucial that colleges paint an accurate picture of what their students can expect.

This session will help you give accurate, practical support to students considering university.

We will:

  • Explore the differences between how students access support in school vs university.
  • Highlight variants in language and terminology, what it means and why it happens.
  • Introduce the Disabled Student’s Allowance and how schools can enhance its benefits.
  • Discuss the role of widening participation departments and how we can enhance connections between universities and schools.

Enquire here

A University For You

Designed for students.

Former NUS Disabled Students Officer, Piers Wilkinson will take students on a deep-dive into their time at university, sharing their own lived experience as a disabled student. 

While at college Piers was offered an apprenticeship role but chose university instead. Students will learn what factors contributed to this decision and why they chose the course and university that they did.

Students will also learn what to look out for when applying for university, including guidance on finding the right university, what to ask at open days, and what consideration should be placed on campus characteristics, amenities and location. 

By the end of the session, students should feel more confident about identifying the right university that suits their learning style and personality.

Enquire here

ADHD, Celebrating Diversity and Overcoming Study Barriers

The aim of the session is to enhance your understanding of ADHD within the context of the social model of disability and explore strategies that can alleviate barriers and challenges.  

You will learn how ADHD is defined, understood, and classified. We cover the process of getting diagnosed and the practical impacts of a confirmed diagnosis.   

Together, we will unpack the myths, assumptions, and prejudices surrounding ADHD. 

Through new understanding, you will see how disabling attitudes and societal structures form barriers for those with ADHD. 

We expand on the topic by examining the impact that the COVID-19 lockdown has had on students’ ability to: 

  • Perceive and manage time 
  • Maintain an effective daily routine 
  • Sustain a positive outlook

Enquire here

An Introduction to Reasonable Adjustments

Designed for higher education staff.

In the session, we will focus on the following core areas:

  • Making reasonable adjustments – when can we make reasonable adjustments?
  • Implementing reasonable adjustments – what reasonable adjustments can be implemented and when and what evidence is required? What are the processes required for undergraduates who present with school document evidence?
  • Extra time and rest breaks – who, how much, when?
  • Comparable sector processes – what do specific reasonable adjustment processes look like in other organisations of a similar size and also with a similar course type?
  • Promoting and continuing to develop a robust reasonable adjustment process – including how to communicate that this process is available for staff and students access
  • Telling the difference between reasonable adjustments versus nuanced support from lecturers and line managers

Throughout this session, we will use specific case-based examples and reference documentation and best practice from comparable institutions and the sector as a whole.

Enquire here

Bridging The Disability Employment Gap

Designed for higher education staff.

In this session, we will highlight the importance of careers services for disabled graduates, with a particular focus on the unique challenges that exist and how they can begin to be overcome.

We will examine the physical, digital and systemic barriers that face disabled graduates when identifying and pursuing a career.

Attendees will come away from the session with a strong awareness of what they can enhance within their role to better:

  • Build trust and rapport with disabled students seeking support from the Careers Service.
  • Engage with students and disability services across the university to create a more joined-up approach.
  • Highlight accessibility factors to consider when applying for roles and where students can find accessible job boards.
  • Understand the Access to Work and Disability Confident employer scheme.

Enquire here

Career Beyond Higher Education​

Designed for higher education staff.

In 2020, disabled graduates had a lower employment rate (73.4%) than non-disabled graduates (88.4%). In addition, the inactivity rate, which is based on graduates neither working or actively seeking employment, for disabled graduates (22.4%) was more than double the rate for non-disabled graduates (8.4%) (Department for Education 2021).​

As disability practitioners in Higher Education, we are in a valuable position to decrease the disabled graduate employment gap. Traditionally the language has focused on students’ underachievement or lack of attainment, whereas it should focus on the institutional culture, curriculum and pedagogy.  ​

In this session, we will focus on disabled graduate employment confidence and what institutions can do to help bridge the gaps between degree attainment and employment. This includes an introduction to:​

  • Equality rights and legal status ​
  • Disability positive employers and jobs listings​
  • The Access to Work scheme ​
  • Internships, work experience and graduate schemes

Enquire here

Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) Changes & The Road Ahead

Designed for higher education staff.

The Department for Education and the Student Loans Company (SLC) have outlined guidance for changes to Disabled Students Allowances (DSAs) for 2020/21 and beyond. The guidance emphasises greater responsibility for HEIs in providing support for disabled and neurodiverse students in accordance with the Equality Duty (2010). This full-day workshop provides:

  • An understanding of the Equality Duty (2010) the public sector equality duty and the responsibility of HEIs to make reasonable adjustments
  • An overview of the proposed changes to DSAs
  • An understanding of the new responsibilities placed upon institutions
  • a facilitated discussion to explore areas for development for embedding inclusive practice

The workshop is semi-structured, part presentation, part seminar, part activities. This will also include discussion where the final goal will be to set a number of objectives for an action plan for your HEI to prepare for changes on the road ahead.

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Duty and Practice: Supporting Your Neurodiverse Learners

Designed for higher education staff.

We take a positive approach to neurodiversity, exploring how the diversity of thought is an asset to education. Our perspective maintains a sense of forward-thinking progression towards cohesion that embraces change and encompasses various working and communication styles. 

We ensure that those with lived experience deliver our training. Where facilitators, often through personal experiences, can bring an authentic voice to discussions. 

Attendees will come away from the training not with a long sheet of simple dos and don’ts but with a practical understanding of neurodiversity among learners. Information will be delivered progressively, allowing attendees a space to consider and reflect on their own understanding.

All of our training champions the social model of disability, the belief that environmental and societal barriers can exclude individuals from fully participating in society. For this reason, we will not cover diagnoses or medical treatments but instead, equip attendees with practical strategies and working adjustments that can reduce barriers outside the medical sphere. 

Our approach to neurodiversity is one that highlights the strength in difference. We don’t see the diversity of thought as a deficit; rather, we emphasise how we can create a working, cohesive team environment that enables everyone to thrive.

By the end of the session, attendees will:

  • Gain a refreshed perspective on what is meant by ‘neurodiversity’, the origins of the term, and the importance of fostering a neurodiverse teaching and learning space. 
  • Have the opportunity to consider the role and responsibilities of educators in creating an accessible learning space for neurodiverse learners.
  • Be able to build stronger rapport with neurodiverse learners by establishing a supportive, non-judgmental one-to-one support dynamic.
  • Feel confident discussing reasonable adjustments with a neurodiverse learner in a supportive and accessible manner, knowing what to ask and how to ask it.
  • Have a clearer sense of the barriers neurodiverse learners may experience, the underlying structural causes, and the adjustments they can make to reduce these barriers.
  • Address reasonable adjustments within the context of learner personal and professional development, the Equality Act, and support framework.
  • Have the tools to effectively and quickly implement reasonable adjustments by looking at various examples and positive case studies.
  • Consider neurodiversity through the social model of disability to address inclusive language, etiquette, and tangible change more effectively.   

Enquire here

Find Your Way: Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA)

Designed for students.

If your ability to access your studies is affected by a mental health condition, disability, chronic illness, and/or learning difference, you will be entitled to the Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA).

The allowance funds bespoke support and technology that has the potential to transform your experience at university. 

In our session, we’ll explain exactly what the DSA is and how it will benefit you. You will hear from a disabled graduate who will describe their experiences of DSA. We’ll provide a genuine perspective on what to expect—giving you all the information you need to get through the process so you can access the support you deserve as soon as possible. 

There will also be time for you to ask questions. In this session, we’ll also address frequently asked questions, including how the DSA varies between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and what support can be accessed by you once you graduate and are in work.

Enquire here

From Arriving to Thriving: Embedding Effective Disabled Student Support ​

Designed for higher education staff.

The session will unpack your responsibilities as a student support practitioner and explore how to embed real, tangible provisions that enhance the experiences of neurodiverse and disabled students. ​

The session will be broken down into sections, covering key topics. These include:​

  • Introducing the Disabled Student’s Allowance and covering how you can enhance its awareness, scope and effectiveness.​
  • Exploring differences between how students access support in school, in university and beyond into the world of work.​
  • Highlighting variants in terminology and legislation, what it means and why it happens.​
  • Discussing the role of widening participation departments and induction weeks when creating a space of belonging for disabled students.

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Realities of Lived Experience​

Realities of Lived Experience workshops will enhance attendees’ awareness and understanding of common conditions and diagnoses. Each workshop is designed around one of the following to be selected in advance by AccessHE: ​

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)​
  • Autism/Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC) ​
  • Blind/Visual Impairment​
  • Chronic Fatigue ​
  • Chronic Pain​
  • D/deaf/Hard of Hearing​
  • Mental Health ​
  • Long-term Health Condition ​
  • Specific Learning Difference (SpLD)​
  • Wheelchair use and mobility ​

Each session will explore what we understand about the condition; how it is diagnosed, medically treated, and commonly misunderstood. ​

Furthermore, we will focus on what we can do, outside of the medical sphere, to begin breaking down these barriers by creating an anticipatory, knowledgeable, and flexible learning and working environment.  

Enquire here

Succeeding at University

Designed for students.

In this session, we will focus on how to succeed and enjoy your time once you’re in higher education.

Attending university can seem like a big step, and the transition can be intimidating. However, in this session, you will hear from a recent disabled graduate who will share their story, covering both the academic and lifestyle sides of university. 

The session will seek to demystify the university experience. We will provide you with useful tips and tricks, including finding a sense of belonging in a new environment and developing agency in what and how you learn.

We will discuss specific support available to you, such as academic study tuition, mental health mentoring, and assistive technology provisions.

By the end of the session, you will see how neurodiverse and disabled students can and have thrived in higher education.

Enquire here

Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

An Introduction to UDL: Inclusive Principles & Practices

Designed for higher education staff.

To establish an inclusive education environment it is vital that the accessibility of learning practices are re-examined. Students feel an increased sense of belonging when diverse academic strengths are embraced and yet, as highlighted by a 2020 Policy Connect report, disparities in accessibility continue to be a core barrier for student attainment and retention.  

In this workshop, we will examine what the disabled student journey tells us about the accessibility of teaching and assessment practices. The Universal Design for Learning (UDL) will be our conceptual backbone and allow us to benchmark our practices with that of good practice. 

We’ll discuss key educational principles, prompt questions, and associated resources to ensure that inclusive practice is integral to influencing decision-making and planning processes. 

Attendees will learn how the culture of Universal Design transfers into education, and the strengths this provides in the quality and inclusivity of your courses. We will consider how the Universal Design interacts with course competency standards and QAA subject benchmarks, allowing for both academic integrity and inclusive practice to be embraced.

The session will also give attendees the chance to share their own examples. Together, we’ll reflect on what we have learnt and how principles can be put into practice to enhance the experiences of all learners at the university.

Enquire here

Digital Skills: Accessibility in Practice with PowerPoint

With over 30 million PowerPoints being created each day, the tool has become an essential part of how we present information and encourage learning. ​

Created and delivered effectively, your PowerPoint can provoke attention, encourage thought, and maintain energy levels.​

In the session, we will explore how we take in and process presented information. We will examine how we learn and therefore how we can utilise PowerPoint to encourage information retention. ​

Attendees will come away from the session with a greater understanding of the six core principles to consider when creating PowerPoint presentations. 

We will cover presentation layout, slide design, colour schemes, delivery tips and underutilised PowerPoint tools that allow your presentations to be accessible for all.

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Practitioner Skills: Boundary Setting​

Designed for higher education staff.

The nature of the support practitioners deliver means it is essential to create a trusted professional relationship dynamic.​

We’re aware that the dynamic of this can become confused and blurred if boundaries are not laid out. Dependency dynamics are unhelpful for both parties, so it is important to put measures in place to ensure the support is enabling and facilitates independence. ​

By setting clear boundaries, you are putting up a safety net in order to prevent any harm to the student as well as yourself. The role of a practitioner must be clearly defined so that expectations can be met and are not made limitless and/or unrealistic.

This session will cover the steps a practitioner should take to ensure professional boundaries are kept.

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Practitioner Skills: Goal Setting

Designed for higher education staff.

It is vital to instil a goal-setting approach to student support, allowing learners to take ownership of their support on their journey toward enablement and independence. 

Goal setting is also an essential part of self-regulation and can be foundational to other self-regulation strategies. 

When used effectively, the process of goal setting allows learners to observe their own behaviour and pinpoint areas for improvement. It helps students identify what they need to do, lets them see how they are progressing, and motivates them to act productively. 

This session will cover what’s behind goal setting by discussing metacognition and strategy planning. We will also explore ways to enable learners to set, work on and achieve SMART goals.

Enquire here

Practitioner Skills Training: Rapport Building

Designed for higher education staff.

A rapport is a relationship between two people that, when successfully built, comprises understanding, mutual attention, and mutual positivity. ​

The ability to build rapport is key to being an effective practitioner. ​

With a good rapport, the ability to share lived experiences and to relate can go a long way to breaking down barriers for many students. ​

Building a rapport can be tricky when a student has a high level of anxiety or has been let down in the past by other services. ​

This session will cover techniques that practitioners can use to build up a good rapport quickly and effectively with the student.

Enquire here

Wellbeing

Embedding a Culture Of Wellbeing

This workshop will raise awareness and understanding of mental health and wellbeing.

We will explore:

  • What we understand by mental health and wellbeing, challenging common assumptions and prejudices
  • How mental health problems are assessed, classified and diagnosed
  • Understanding and recognising the causes of mental health, and different models (medical and social)
  • A range of common and complex mental health conditions – recognising signs and symptoms, treatment and support
  • Basic principles of support focusing on a person-centred approach and mindfulness – including mindfulness practice
  • Managing risk and crisis
  • Embedding wellbeing – promoting a culture of positive mental health, wellbeing, and mindfulness

Enquire here

Managing Stress & ​Anxiety

This workshop focuses on the importance of taking a mindful approach to teaching and learning when managing stress and anxiety.​

Mindfulness is growing in popularity with the recognition of academics and professionals of the everyday benefits of embedding mindful strategies in increasing general wellbeing. ​

This workshop draws on principles and practices of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) to:​

  • Explore and recognise the symptoms of stress and anxiety​
  • Understand mindfulness and how it can support mental resilience and wellbeing​
  • Practice mindfulness – exploring a variety of mindfulness exercises for everyday wellbeing including the three-minute breathing space, mindfulness of body and breath and moving meditation​
  • Introduce assistive technology and mobile apps for mindfulness and wellbeing

Enquire here

Managing Workload, Time & Ideas

Often find your head full of tasks, ideas, and deadlines? Is your desk sometimes littered with sticky notes and to-do lists? 

If so (or if you work alongside someone like this) then this workshop is for you!

In this session, we will look at what technology exists outside of the Microsoft suite to improve your ability to manage your workflow, time and ideas more efficiently.

We will begin by looking at digital mind mapping and how this can be adopted to not necessarily replace but to enhance your current working style.

Next, we will look at how your thoughts and ideas, once organised, can be developed into an effective workflow. 

You will be introduced to a useful task and project management tool, seeing first-hand how it can be used to oversee, co-ordinate and communicate anything from small tasks to large projects.

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Begin arranging your workshop today

Like the look of a workshop listed about? Great! Fill out our workshop booking form and a member of our team will be in contact to get everything up and running.

Alternatively, we can work with you to design a workshop that meets your specific aims and budgetary requirements. To discuss this further, please contact us.

A sign with D and As slogan, we inform, educate and advocate.