transtion support for disabled students going to university
The *AccessAbility initiative is a disability and diversity (includes dyslexia and autistic spectrums; mental health difficulties; and long-term health conditions) focused initiative at the University of Greenwich which provides information and guidance to disabled and diverse students who are considering a university education. The initiative began in August 2007 and has continued to evolve to meet the needs of the students we work with and has resulted in STAART (Support Through *AccessAbility: Retention and Transition). The main method of support is peer support, and all of our *AccessAbility Ambassadors have a disability or diversity themselves which enables us to have Disabled Peoples’ Organisation (DPO) status.
The STAART initiative has been available since August 2016 for disabled and diverse students who have accepted a place on any of our campuses, or are local (London, Kent, Medway and Essex) disabled students who are considering university in the future (from Year 11 onwards).This also includes international students, either coming to Greenwich to study or who are studying in their home country for a Greenwich qualification.
What support is available for prospective students?
The STAART initiative has a variety of support mechanisms in place and participants (STAARTers) can opt to take part in any or all of the following:
- Access to the open STAART Facebook group
- Access to the STAART Twitter account.
- Access to the closed Facebook group (Greenwich students only)
- Access to the STAART WhatsApp group (Greenwich students only)
- Workshops on campus (should be available as webinars from September 2017).
- External events and catch ups.
- Specialist induction days – April and September
What do I need to do to join STAART?
You will need to complete a booking form, the link can be found here: http://gre.ac.uk/aap.
You will then be contacted via email by one of the *AccessAbility Ambassadors and welcomed officially.
Alternatively, if you are interested in all things disability and higher education, you are very welcome to join our open Facebook or Twitter. We already have prospective and current disabled students (from across the world), disabled graduates, researchers and practitioners as members and we are hoping to grow the open Facebook group as a global community of practice: https://www.facebook.com/groups/295392264140831/?ref=bookmarks.
The Twitter account is mainly for people who do not use Facebook: @GRE_STAART
If you have any queries regarding STAART, please contact the *AccessAbility Coordinator: Dr. Melanie Thorley
By way of a short introduction, I lead the *AccessAbility Team at the University of Greenwich (UK), which provides outreach (not recruitment) peer support for disabled students going to university. I thought some of your members might be interested in our transition initiative – STAART. We have created a new transition initiative that includes support for students on the dyslexia/autism spectrums, with mental health conditions and physical disabilities who are going to study at university. The support is available to all post-16 disabled students considering university anywhere globally . We have both remote mechanisms (social media and webinars of the workshops) and on campus activities to support their transition.
We are a DPO and every member of my team comes under the disability umbrella.
More information regarding our STAART initiative and the *AccessAbility Team can be found on our webpages:
Feel free to email me if you have any questions