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Durham University Service for Students with Disabilities


The mission of Durham University is to achieve and sustain excellence in teaching and research in Durham as a collegiate university. The university is committed to broadening opportunities to enter higher education and accepts students with a wide range of qualifications and backgrounds.  Each application is considered on merit by assessing a student's potential to both succeed on and benefit from their chosen programme.

The university is mindful of its obligation not to treat disabled applicants less favourably in the arrangements it makes for determining admissions or enrolments to the institution; in the terms on which it offers to admit or enrol a person or, by refusing or deliberately omitting to accept an application for admission or enrolment. However, in limited circumstances, there may be overriding health and safety concerns; barriers relating to professional requirements or other prescribed standards; or having explored all available options, it may be impossible to implement certain adjustments at the present time.

The university supports an anticipatory approach which requires pro-active consideration of disabled access to services and facilities to ensure adjustments are made in advance of individual disabled people attempting to use the service or access education. All applications to the university declaring disability are monitored and each case is considered separately and without discrimination relating to disability. Once a student has been accepted for a course of study, the university accepts a responsibility to ensure appropriate provision for that student throughout his/her course.

Durham University is committed to a policy of equal opportunities and believes that those with disabilities should have access, as far as reasonably possible, to the full range of academic, cultural and social activities which the university offers. This commitment means that it will take all reasonable steps to meet both the general need for access as well as the specific needs of individuals who wish to experience those activities. The university has a Diversity and Equality Policy which sets out our commitment towards diversity and equality. The university's Single Equality Scheme  illustrates our commitment to promoting diversity and equality of opportunity for all staff and students. This is supported by a three year action plan and policy statement on promoting disability equality.

The SES will be managed by a working group of University representatives supported by the University Diversity Manager and the Single Equality Scheme Working Group (SESWG) with input from across the University. The SESWG will report termly on progress with the SES to the University Diversity and Equality Advisory Group (DEAG) which is chaired by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Sub-Warden. Annually, the DEAG will consider the Diversity Annual Report which contains the University's equality data monitoring outcomes and the SES equality action plan, before recommending their consideration by the University Executive Committee, chaired by the Vice Chancellor and Warden, and subsequent consideration by the University Council, chaired by the Chair of Council.

Hilary Osborne, Director of Service

DUSSD July 2010