In July I wrote a blog post about the in-between stage of Go Higher West Yorkshire’s (GHWY) transition pack for disabled learners. Almost three months later and we successfully launched the resource, which provides generic advice and student voice on disabilities as they transition to Higher Education (HE). I guess that the in-between stage lasted longer than expected, but it’s been worth the wait!
Before talking about the launch event, I’m going to let you into a little secret. Internally, the transition pack has been shortened to TP, but it could just as easily stand for team progress. Because teamwork was what it took to launch the resource. We are grateful to all our partners: Kirklees College for the initial idea for a pack; University of Huddersfield for a Parent/Carer section, and University of Leeds for creating an accessible version. It has also been a team effort with GHWY staff contributing content, driving the project forward, in-house design, and providing strategic oversight.
The pack is designed to raise awareness of how disabled students can access appropriate guidance where possible. This captures ‘What do students need?’ and ‘What do HE providers need?’ in order to enhance transition. This includes key information to support educational staff or parent/carers to understand a student’s/child’s diagnosis (or progress of diagnosis) and how that translates in HE; information on Disabled Students Allowance/extra provisions; and a roadmap of the HE application process to support them from start to finish.
The online launch event began with an interesting presentation from Anne Rowan of Advance HE, who we commissioned to produce a literature review of Disabled Learners research to support our work in this area. Then GHWY staff showcased the transition pack. Finally, there was an opportunity to ask questions. Attendees gave the pack positive feedback: extremely informative and useful; looking forward to learning from the pack; can’t wait to share this with my schools.
So, what happens next? Firstly, the standard and accessible versions are ready to upload onto GHWY’s website as a downloadable document. Secondly, we will continue to disseminate the transition pack via our networks and encourage others to do the same.
Finally, in the long term, we will evaluate the transition pack; schedule an annual review to ensure accuracy/relevancy and to respond to feedback; and promote the transition pack during relevant awareness weeks and months. Luckily, we like using spreadsheets to maintain an oversight of long-term plans!
Tahera Mayat, GHWY Collaborative Outreach Officer