What does disability mean?
A disabled person is defined as "as someone who has a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities". The Disability Rights Commission DRC Statutory Code of practice Dec 05 provides information on the Duty to Promote Disability Equality.
Disability Services at the University
Disability Services provides advice, information and guidance to:
- disabled students
- students with mental illness or mental health difficulties
- students with a Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD) such as dyslexia.
Disability Equality Duty at the University
Nearly 40% of our disabled student population have dyslexia or other Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs). This is not surprising considering that 10% of the general population is estimated to also have dyslexia. Dyslexia and other SpLDs remain with a person for life but techniques and strategies can be learned to ameliorate its impact. For more information about the characteristics and impact of dyslexia and the support available at the University of Sunderland, please click here.
Disabled in Sunderland?
The Sunderland Access Guide 2010 is an information pack which is intended to give a general indication of access and facilities for visitors with special needs in the City of Sunderland. The booklet has been compiled by staff at the Sunderland Tourist Information Centre and details information such as; location of wheel chair hire; accommodation in the area; attractions and amenities in the City of Sunderland, all with gradings of the disabled access at each venue.
Strategic approaches to disabled student engagement
As one of seven participating institutions, our project work on furthering the involvement of disabled students reached fruition in June 2010 with the publication of guidance issued by the Higher Education Academy and the Equality Challenge Unit.
The document entitled Disabled student engagement was launched at the University of Derby. Shell Young, a member of our project group, disseminated information at the event. The Sunderland presentation on Exploring ways of hearing the disabled student voice and involving disabled students in shaping the future of their university was well received by delegates, as it outlined both the benefits and the challenges that can be experienced when seeking to establish effective lines of consultation.
Involvement in the project has left a legacy of routes that the Disability Equality Duty Working Group can use to directly engage disabled students in University developments. It has also given students themselves the tools to better communicate across our University. For example, disabled students can more easily engage in working group structures, can set up a facebook networking group, and have had useful discussions with Marketing over the style and content of relevant materials.
See the Equality and Human Rights Commission website for related news.