Shefc funds for disability access

November 17, 2000

The Scottish Higher Education Funding Council has earmarked more than £300,000 to help Scottish universities check how they are improving access for students with disabilities.

The government is soon expected to approve a disability in education act that may make it unlawful for institutions to treat applicants less favourably because of their disability, or fail to alter arrangements that substantially disadvantage applicants with disabilities.

Shefc has launched a programme to help ensure that Scotland's 18 higher education institutions comply with changes in legislation and policy. Specialist teams are to monitor three aspects of disabled access: the curriculum, institutional policies; and estates management.

The joint mobility unit of the Royal National Institute for the Blind is investigating how user-friendly campus buildings are. It will produce recommendations on priorities for improvements.

Skill, the national bureau for students with disabilities, is carrying out an audit of institutions' policies and procedures.

David Wann, Shefc's deputy chief executive, said: "Wider access to higher education for all members of society is one of the council's key goals. This evaluation will provide each of Scotland's higher education institutions with valuable information on their accessibility to disabled students."

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