Disability Lead and Disability Coordinator

Each college and department senior management body will entrust its responsibility to disabled students to particular members of staff. In most cases, responsibilities will be split between a senior member of staff who is able to take strategic oversight of provision (the Disability Lead), and an operational member of staff who can be the principal point of contact for arranging and implementing individual reasonable adjustments (the Disability Coordinator).

Each senior management body will appoint both a Disability Lead and a Disability Co-ordinator. In some cases, it might be appropriate for a single member of staff to carry out both of these roles. In other cases, colleges and departments might elect to share the associated responsibilities associated with a particular role between staff members. These individuals will be mindful of the need for sensitive and confidential communications. They will be able to act creatively to identify and seek to overcome barriers disabled students face in relation to their studies at Oxford and take steps to remove them where possible.

Communicating contact details

In order for the Disability Lead and Disability Coordinator to operate effectively, it is important that staff and students within their college or department can identify them easily, and understand the nature of their responsibilities. This is particularly the case where more than one individual undertakes the responsibilities of the associated roles. Therefore, the occupants of the roles should be advertised on the institution’s website, along with their role description and contact details. Where one person is fulfilling both sets of responsibilities, this should also be made clear.

Essential functions of the Disability Lead and the Disability Coordinator

Disability Lead

Person A senior member of staff who is a member of the appropriate Governing Body or senior management body (usually the Senior Tutor or Director of Graduate Studies) whose brief includes oversight of provision for disabled students
Nature of the role is strategic
  • Raise awareness of the need for anticipatory adjustments and foster inclusive practice in teaching and learning activities, as well as broader aspects of student life
  • Promote excellence in accessibility as a strategic priority and the active adoption of the guiding principles set out in the Common Framework
Main duties
  • Provide a regular overview of disability provision within their institution to the senior management body
  • Oversee and support the work of the Disability Co-ordinator
  • Resolve complex cases in partnership with other bodies of the collegiate University
  • Disseminate good practice and raise awareness in student common rooms of need for them to adopt inclusive practice in events and activities
Monitoring role
  • Instigate regular reviews of the institution’s provision for disabled students
  • Monitor provision and ensure that information is fed into current reporting mechanisms

College Disability Coordinator

Person

A senior administrator/staff member with working knowledge of the institution’s legal responsibilities and relevant policies and procedures

Nature of the role is day-to-day support
  • Establish open communication with disabled students and act as a first point of contact for them within their institution
  • Provide information and support to students, administrative and academic staff on student-related disability issues
  • Coordinate implementation of the Study Support Plan (SSP) and ensure that it reflects the practical circumstances of the student in collaboration with the Disability Advisory Service as appropriate
Duties
  • Provide information and respond to queries from staff and students in matters pertaining to disabled students
  • Implement day to day reasonable adjustments including the necessary administrative procedures; maintain records as appropriate
  • Process applications to the Proctors and Education Committee for examination adjustments, or other relevant matters, for both undergraduate and post-graduate taught students
  • Share the contents of the SSP where appropriate, collaborating with departmental and library colleagues as necessary
  • Maintain regular contact with the Disability Advisory Service
Monitoring role
  • Maintain broad oversight of the academic progress and student experience of each undergraduate with disabilities through their student career. The degree of monitoring envisaged is light touch and proportionate to disability-related needs.  The Disability Co-ordinator provides a single point of contact in a college with whom any substantial changes in circumstances can be noted and brief but regular review undertaken, most likely in collaboration with the Disability Advisory Service. The disability co-ordinator could fulfil the role by checking existing academic monitoring records (such as OxCORT reports and collection marks) to review whether  progress is as expected and by encouraging academic and welfare teams to advise of any disability-related issues which might require further reasonable adjustments
  • Maintain regular contact with each disabled student as necessary
  • Identify need for inter-departmental liaison and make appropriate arrangements, involving the Disability Advisory Service where necessary
  • Inform the Disability Lead of complex issues if they arise

Departmental Disability Coordinator

Person

A senior administrator/staff member with working knowledge of the institution’s legal responsibilities and relevant policies and procedures

Nature of the role is day-to-day support
  • Establish open communication with disabled students and act as a first point of contact for them within their institution
  • Provide information and support to students, administrative and academic staff
  • Coordinate implementation of the Study Support Plan (SSP) and ensure that it reflects the practical circumstances of the student in collaboration with the Disability Advisory Service as appropriate.
Main duties
  • Provide information and respond to queries from staff and students in matters pertaining to disabled students
  • Implement day to day reasonable adjustments including the necessary administrative procedures; maintain records as appropriate
  • Colleges will continue to make applications to the Proctors and Education Committee for examination adjustments for graduate students. Departmental colleagues should work with colleges to support timely applications
  • Arrange and monitor departmental adjustments for examination and assessment processes for research students
  • Share the contents of the SSP where appropriate, collaborating with college and library colleagues as necessary
  • Maintain regular contact with the Disability Advisory Service
Monitoring role
  • Maintain broad oversight of the academic progress and student experience of each of the department’s post-graduates through their student career. The degree of monitoring envisaged is light touch and proportionate to disability-related needs. The Disability Co-ordinator provides a single point of contact in a department with whom any substantial changes in circumstances can be noted and brief but regular review undertaken. The disability co-ordinator could fulfil the role by checking existing academic monitoring records (such as GSS reports) to review whether  progress is as expected and by encouraging academic staff to advise of any disability-related issues which might require further reasonable adjustments
  • Maintain regular contact with each disabled student as necessary
  • Identify need for inter-departmental or college liaison and make appropriate arrangements, involving the Disability Advisory Service where necessary
  • Inform the Disability Lead of complex issues if they arise