Transition pack for disabled learners presented at Open University conference
I’ve worked on Go Higher West Yorkshire’s (GHWY) Transition Pack for Disabled Learners from its initial idea to its launch and ongoing dissemination. It was therefore exciting to co-deliver a presentation about the e-resource with John Hague, (GHWY Area Manager), at the Open University’s 7th Biennial International Conference on Access, Participation and Success.
The pack, which was launched last November, aims to support disabled learners with their transition to Higher Education (HE) through providing appropriate guidance.
At the online conference, delegates could access a varied programme with over 40 keynote presentations, interactive workshops, and panel discussions. There were four themes: student engagement; inclusion; accessibility and student outcomes.
Me and John gave a seminar presentation, with 20 minutes to present and 10 minutes Q&A. Whilst I experienced nerves before presenting, they soon disappeared as we got underway!
The presentation was soon over, and we received positive and constructive feedback. This included: “looks great and very comprehensive”, “the guide looks brilliant, thanks both for sharing”, and “the guide looks great”. We were asked if we’re happy for the transition pack to be shared more widely and the answer is ‘yes please’! You can download it here.
There were insightful questions asked. One delegate wanted to know about the challenge of balancing what students need vs what the pack provides. This was a challenge as we want the transition pack to be specific enough to be helpful to disabled learners but not too niche. There was a constructive comment on the accommodation section, so we know to provide more guidance on this when the pack is updated.
The presentation was part of ongoing work to disseminate the pack. This has involved blogging about it, cascading it through relevant networks, and attending relevant events. This includes the Open University recent Access, Participation and Success conference. Staff from our members at University of Leeds and Leeds Arts University spoke about their respective work on the pack. The abstracts and slides are on the conference website here if you wish to look at any of them.
After dissemination, there comes evaluation of the transition pack. We will be running an insight hub throughout the months of June/July using software called FlexMr (yes, it’s new to me too!). This will be an anonymised database allowing students from a range of networks to respond to topics/questions that will focus on the transition pack in order to gain feedback. If you are able to support this by recruiting potential students for the focus group this summer, please contact me at T.Mayat@leeds.ac.uk
Tahera Mayat, GHWY Collaborative Outreach Officer