Depending on who you believe, there are 3-6 stages of transition. The one stage I can most relate to is that in-between stage. It’s that middle stage where you’re past a planning/scoping stage but you’re not quite in the final stages. I can see why it’s called the in-between stage!
The in-between stage is where Go Higher West Yorkshire (GHWY) is with its transition pack. What is the transition pack? It is an output that we’re working towards for the GHWY Disabled Students Network. You can read more about our networks in the article ‘Under-represented groups: from acronyms and outputs’. The transition pack is aimed at disabled students to help them with their transition to HE. It can also be used by parents/carers and staff to support disabled students with HE transition.
There are two main reasons why a transition pack for disabled students is needed. Firstly, the generic information on HE is not tailored for disabled students. For example, messages around Student Finance fail to mention that disabled students really need to be applying for Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) alongside Student Finance. Secondly, transition to HE can be challenging for disabled students. They not only have that increased independence that tends to come with HE but also, that added factor of going from others helping manage their disability to taking on responsibility, such as, booking their own medical appointments.
Yes, I’m talking about that in-between stage where disabled students become adults and so confidentiality means it is up to them to share information with a HE provider. But disabled students often assume this information is shared automatically with HE providers. So, this is where the transition pack will come in: to guide disabled students to HE so that the unknown becomes, well, known. This will then facilitate their transition to HE.
So what exactly will the transition pack contain? With disabled students as the focus, it will have useful information, such as HE roadmap and student stories. This may be subject to change as GHWY staff and our members are contributing to the transition pack for HE, which makes it a collaborative output.
The transition pack is expected to go live on our website this August. There will be a focus group with disabled students to get feedback on it. The transition pack is for those thinking about HE in 2023/24 onwards but some content, such as student stories, may help disabled students starting HE in 2022/23.
Tahera Mayat, GHWY Collaborative Outreach Officer