Digital and Short Courses Disabled Students Policy

Digital and Short Courses Disabled Students Policy

The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust (The Trust) is committed to being inclusive and accessible to all students in all aspects of the academic and social life of the Trust. Therefore, all disabled students will be treated fairly and equitably.

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2 Purpose

This policy articulates the Trust’s Education and Training commitment for ensuring students with disabilities receive a positive learning experience, and are supported to achieve their learning objectives, throughout the duration of their study with the Trust.

This policy is also intended to meet our obligations under the Equality Act 2010 and to ensure we provide a safe, effective and inclusive learning environment for all students studying at the Trust.

3 Scope

This policy applies to all students on digital and short courses, as well as conferences and other events organised by the Digital and Short Courses Portfolio (DSCP). This policy will be followed by all members of professional and academic staff who deliver digital and short courses with the Trust at any site of delivery.

For all other training offered by the Directorate for Education and Training (DET) please see the Trust’s Disabled Students and Reasonable Adjustments Policy and Procedure, as available on the Trust website.

If a student chooses not to share a disability or specific learning difficulty, this may limit the support that could otherwise be provided.

4 Definitions

The Trust: The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, including all national centres.

Disability: The Trust adopts the definition of disability from the Equality Act 2010: “A physical or mental impairment…that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on one’s ability to do normal daily activities”. (Anon., 2010 c.15)

Mental health conditions: Such as bipolar disorder, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder is included as a disability for the purposes of this policy.

Long-term health condition: Such as heart or lung conditions is included as a disability for the purposes of this policy.

Fluctuating conditions: The Trust recognises that physical or mental health conditions may be fluctuating in nature. Students are urged to make us aware, should their condition and support needs change after reasonable adjustments have been agreed.

Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD): Any Assessed Learning Difficulty such as Dyslexia or Dyspraxia is included as a disability for the purposes of this policy.

Student: Anyone attending any Trust CPD and short courses, as well as conferences and other events organised by the Digital and Short Courses Portfolio (DSCP).

5 Policy Statements

This section sets out the Trust’s commitments and expectations. It
comprises the following headings:

5.1 Inclusivity
5.2 Equality in Academic Practice
5.3 Digital Education Services
5.4 Recruitment of students with Disabilities
5.5 Sharing Disabilities
5.6 Confidentiality
5.7 Communication
5.8 Responsiveness to Changing Environment
5.9 Student Responsibilities
5.10 Physical Environment
5.11 Library and Learning Resources
5.12 Providing reasonable adjustments for students with disabilities

5.1 Inclusivity

We embrace diversity, and work to make our services and training as accessible and inclusive as possible. We recognise the value of lived experience and understand that disabled people have a valuable contribution to make to the mental health and wellbeing of others.

5.2 Equality in Academic Practice

Wherever possible, staff must ensure that individual students are not singled out or brought to the attention of others in meeting their needs. Course teams will implement ‘inclusive learning’ wherever possible. This benefits all delegates and not just those with disabilities or learning difficulties and avoids singling out individuals wherever possible.

5.3 Digital Education Services

Our Digital Education (Technology Enhanced Learning) platforms are fully compliant with accessibility technologies such as screen readers and resizing/colour scheme changes. Videos are accompanied by subtitles and/or a transcript. Staff are encouraged to upload non-fixed slides and documents (i.e., not PDFs).

5.4 Recruitment of students with Disabilities

The Trust is committed to an inclusive recruitment policy and to working with students and potential students to ensure accessibility for all its courses and training provision through the steps outline in this policy and procedure. Applications are welcomed from all regardless of disability.

5.5 Sharing Disabilities

The Trust is committed to providing opportunities and clear processes for sharing disabilities. The Trust invites students to share any reasonable adjustments necessary to access the course or event as part of the application process. Where appropriate students are also invited to discuss their needs prior to booking by contacting

Where the Trust is not informed of a disability and/or adjustment required using the standard procedure, this will likely affect the Trust’s ability to provide reasonable adjustments and support.

If a student shares a disability but states that they do not want or need any reasonable adjustments, or no reasonable adjustments are judged necessary at that point in time, a record will be kept.

5.6 Confidentiality

The Trust will protect students’ rights to privacy and confidentiality. Information relating to a student’s disability will be shared with staff on a need-to-know basis, and with the student’s prior consent.

Where staff are required to make adjustments to support disabled students, the minimum information about the disability will be shared to allow this to happen.

Anonymised data about shared disabilities may be analysed and shared for quality assurance and equality, fairness and inclusion purposes.

See ‘student responsibilities’ for information regarding the recording of lectures/seminars or other teaching sessions.

5.7 Communication

All written communication with students will be primarily electronic to enable the use of assistive software. Wherever possible, enquiries to the  email address will be responded to within 5 working days. A full response may not be possible within that timeframe, but an initial acknowledgement and an expected timeframe for a full response should be provided within the five-day turnaround time.

5.8 Responsiveness to Changing Environment

The Trust will review this policy and procedure annually to ensure good practice and compliance with regulatory changes.

5.9 Student Responsibilities

Students are responsible for ensuring they have declared shared any disabilities that may require adjustments to be made, either as part of the application process or by email to

If a student is given permission to record lectures, seminars, or other teaching sessions, these must be handled appropriately and according to relevant data protection legislation. The student will be required to sign a form to agree to ensuring that the recordings are for personal use and will not be shared, distributed or watched/listened to in a public space. It is a requirement to use equipment that encrypts the data as standard.

5.10 Physical Environment

Reasonable adjustments will be made to buildings and facilities, where possible and according to the needs identified in discussion with disabled students.

Accessibility of new or refurbished sites of delivery will be assessed at the time of initial approval and during periodic reviews.

5.11 Library and Learning Resources

The Library provides equitable access to resources and a range of services for users wherever possible. Details of library services for students with disabilities are available on the Disabled Users’ page on the library website.

5.12 Providing reasonable adjustments for students with disabilities

The Trust will provide adjustments which are reasonable in terms of cost and impact on others to enable a disabled student to succeed in their course. Adjustments will be made in agreement with the Trust and the student, and if appropriate, formally recorded in a Statement of Reasonable Adjustments form.

Reasonable adjustments may include (where possible), but not be limited to:

  • Putting in place a PEEP (Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan) where this is necessary;
  • Library support where required (see ‘Library and Learning Resources’ above);
  • Access requirements (e.g. scheduling classes on the ground floor), where possible;
  • Providing space to store equipment such as specialist chairs or bags;
  • Allowing lectures or seminars to be recorded (see student responsibilities below);
  • Providing lecture notes or hand-outs prior to lectures;
  • Providing hand-outs electronically (or in hard copy on a coloured background where appropriate).

Where the Trust is unable to make the necessary adjustments to enable a student or applicant to study with the Trust, or where the student has requested specific adjustments which the Trust cannot meet, then they will be notified in writing together with the rationale for this decision. Alternative arrangements may be suggested in these circumstances.

6 Duties and responsibilities

This section describes the duties and responsibilities of staff members and students. It comprises the following sections:

6.1 Chief Education and Training Officer/Dean of Postgraduate Studies
6.2 Student Disabilities Lead (SDL) 6.3 Student Disability Officer (SDO)
6.4 CEDU Operations Manager
6.5 Disability Support Librarian
6.6 Student Equalities Lead
6.7 Course Leads
6.8 Heads of Portfolio
6.9 All Trust Staff
6.10 Students

The Trust ensures that there is a designated member (or members) of staff to provide advice to students who share a disability, and to staff who are working with a student with disabilities.

6.1 Chief Education and Training Officer/Dean of Postgraduate Studies

Has overall responsibility for ensuring all staff within DET, and across the Trust, comply with this policy.

6.2 Student Disabilities Lead (SDL)

Has responsibility for keeping policies, procedures, guidance and web pages relating to disabilities up to date. They will also be responsible for:

  • keeping up to date with policy changes within Government and the Sector;
  • providing training, guidance and advice to staff;
  • liaising with other professional services teams within the Directorate to ensure consistency and adherence to this Policy and the Standard Operating Procedures for Disabled Students.

The SDL will report on compliance monitoring to Academic Governance and Quality Assurance Committee, Education and Training Committee, and any other appropriate committee or body.

6.3 Student Disability Officer (SDO)

Has responsibility for:

  • working in a sensitive manner with students with a range of disabilities including mental health difficulties, sensory impairments, specific learning differences, long term health conditions and physical disabilities.
  • the SDO will be the primary point of contact for all disabled students including those on short courses and conferences, to enable adjustments to be put in place where required and, if appropriate, create a Statement of Reasonable Adjustment (SoRA).
  • giving information and advice to applicants, students, staff and other stakeholders, and provide guidance and training to staff across the division in relation to disability support, including reasonable adjustments. With the SDL ensuring guidance documents and standard operating procedures are kept up-to-date.

6.4 DSCP Operations Lead

Has responsibility for:

  • This policy and associated procedures;
  • Oversight of reasonable adjustments to be put in place by the administrator for the course or event;
  • Ensuring queries raised by students regarding disabilities are responded to. If these are received via email to the mailbox to ensure that an initial response is provided within the 5-day service level agreement.

6.5 DET Equalities Lead

Has responsibility for promoting and supporting equality, diversity and inclusion across the Directorate of Education and Training.

6.6 Course Leads

Course Leads have a responsibility for ensuring their tutors are conversant with issues relating to disability, such as inclusive curriculum and learning. They also have a responsibility for liaising with the DSCP Operation Lead and Course Administrators where issues relating to disabilities arise and where reasonable adjustments are being considered.

They are responsible for putting in place any academic reasonable adjustments agreed, which are pertinent to the course. Where a student has been given permission to record lectures, seminars and other sessions, it is the Course Lead’s responsibility to ensure that recordings are made and other students are made aware of the recording, where possible without identifying the student who requires the recording.

6.7 Heads of Portfolio

Have a responsibility for ensuring their Course Leads are conversant with this policy, and the Procedure Statements.

6.8 Students

Students must abide by the ‘student responsibilities’ described in Section 5.9 of this document).

7 Procedures

The DSCP Standard Operating Procedure for Disabled Students must be followed by all staff members in conjunction with this document.

8 Training Requirements

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) training will be provided to academic and DET professional staff on this disability policy and associated Standard Operating Procedure for Disabled Students at least once per year.

All Trust clinical and administrative staff complete regular training on the Data Protection Act and the Freedom of Information Act.

As part of new staff induction, staff with a relevant role will be provided with training on this policy and procedure.

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