Westminster Higher Education Forum

Disabled students at university - facilities, support services and the impact of funding changes

Thursday, 26th January 2017

Congress Centre, 28 Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS


Timed to follow the reform of the Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) - introduced in September 2016 and which includes a significant reduction in the range of support which can be funded - this seminar will bring together key policymakers and stakeholders to discuss the immediate impact of the changes as well as steps that can be taken to address further challenges for disabled students’ in Higher Education.

Planned sessions will look at the accessibility of campuses, examples of best practice in providing facilities and support services for disabled students - particularly in light of the funding reforms - as well as what more can be done to increase the number of disabled people entering HE in the first instance.

We expect attendees to include university and college leaders and support staff, deans and senior teaching staff; senior representatives from within the NHS and private support providers; assistive technology providers; lawyers; architects, university estates directors, construction companies and others involved in campus design and students’ and lecturers’ unions.

Guest of Honour

Paul Williams

Deputy Director, Student Funding Policy, Department for Education

Guest of Honour

Paul Williams

Deputy Director, Student Funding Policy, Department for Education

Keynote Speakers

Professor Geoff Layer

Vice Chancellor, University of Wolverhampton and Chair, The Disabled Students Sector Leadership Group

Sarah Howls

Head of Student Opportunity, HEFCE


Lord Holmes of Richmond

Disability Commissioner, Equality and Human Rights Commission

Dr Lisa Cameron MP

Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group for Disability


Evan Odell

Disability Research on Independent Living and Learning (DRILL) Programme Officer, Disability Rights UK

Celia O’Hagan

Project Manager and Teacher Educator FE and Training, School of Education, Ulster University

John Lamb

Executive Director, British Assistive Technology Association

Mei-Yee Man Oram

Senior Consultant, Accessible Environments and Co-Lead, Accessible Environments Team, ARUP

Nicola Bennison

Partner, Eversheds

Joanne Cooke

Associate Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director, Student and Academic Services, De Montfort University

Dr John Conway

Principal Lecturer & Disability Officer, Royal Agricultural University

Christine Child

Adjudication Manager, Office of the Independent Adjudicator

Lauren West

Trailblazers Manager, Muscular Dystrophy UK

James Elliott

Disabled Students Officer, NUS