The Department for Education have produced a new report ‘ Inclusive Teaching and Learning in Higher Education as a route to Excellence’ The need for a report is partly due to cuts in funding for Universities’ support for disabled students. Now the education provider is expected to ensure that their provision is already inclusive. Funding will still be available for very severe impairment issues.
This might seem like a bad thing – more cuts – etc. However, the report makes it clear that they are embracing a very enlightened approach to disability. They include a section on the Social Model of Disability p.12 where they say:
“Increasing opportunities for disabled students requires us to consider the social model of disability. This emphasises that disability is caused by the way society is organised, rather than by a person’s impairment or difference and looks at ways of removing barriers that restrict life choices for disabled people. When barriers are removed, disabled people can be independent and equal in society, with choice and control over their own lives. HE providers could embrace and adopt this approach as it supports and guides the ways in which pedagogy; curricula and assessment are designed and delivered to engage students in learning that is meaningful, relevant and accessible to all. It embraces a view of the individual and individual difference as the source of diversity that can enrich the lives and learning of others. This calls for a shift in thinking and focus to one which not only advocates the social model of disability but also promotes French and Swain’s (2000) affirmation model which views disability as a normal part of diversity and views it as a matter of pride and not personal tragedy.”
To read the full report go to: