23rd March 1999
CONFERENCE TO DEBATE DISABILITY ISSUES
A conference to kick-start a national association for disability officers in higher education is being hosted by the University of Lincolnshire & Humberside this Monday (29th March).
The university’s own disability officer Steve Metcalfe is organising the one-day conference which will attract 60 delegates from across the country. As part of the Division of Assistive Resources and Technology (DART), Mr Metcalfe helps provide a range of services to support students with specific learning difficulties or disabilities.
The post of disability officer in many British higher education institutions is a relatively new one, with the majority of posts being created as a result of specially funded initiatives.
A proposal to establish the National Association of Disability Officers was warmly welcomed by the higher education sector last year and the university will host what is to be the inaugural conference when the way forward will be debated.
“In most institutions this role is often stuck onto existing posts, or the appointment is part-time or temporary,” said Mr Metcalfe. “The outcome of this situation is that most cannot develop comprehensive, high quality services to support students with disabilities.”
Demand from staff and students for the service is generally high and of a very diverse nature, and it is hoped a national association will identify and develop training opportunities to improve the service.
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