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Visual Impairment & STEM

Lead Institution: University of Bath
Collaborating with: University of Southampton, Plymouth University, Royal Agricultural College, Loughborough University, London School of Economics

What Next?

The standalone Accessiblog resource will continue to be updated, funded via the University of Southampton’s LexDis work as part of the Student Centredness Fund. STEM Learning & Teaching Reconfigured will continue to be hosted on the server until the content is deemed to be out-of-date. STEM Learning and Teaching Reconfigured is based on a content management system therefore it is possible to add resources at any time should further funding ensue.

The case study report from the Inspiring Students with a Visual Impairment day: Your Choices, Your Future, reflects the importance attributed to the student voice and will provide a resource for other WP practitioners to inspire young disabled people to look at science and technology subjects in a different way; another Inspiring Students with VI day will take place at the University of Bath in 2013.

Impact upon a range of universities

The Your Choices, Your Future report was acknowledged and disseminated to over 300 learning support and enabling staff at the Claro Annual Conference in May 2012. These professionals support students on HE courses in Plymouth, Truro, Southampton, Bristol and Cardiff and this informal CPD will have a lasting impact on their professional knowledge of the challenges and barriers faced by VI students.  

The STEM Learning and Teaching Reconfigured resource will be disseminated to NADP, NNAC, DSA Assessors, SEDA and AMOSSHE via their mailbases to ensure disability professionals, educational developers and heads of student services are aware of the resource. Academic leads at the HEA will also be informed for cascading to STEM academic departments. The link to the online resource has been forwarded to Claro so that staff working as non-medical helpers can further update their knowledge and skills to best support and advocate for VI students.

It is felt that this resource has a strong element of sustainability because it has been developed online and is thus freely available. It can be used for any CPD and PGCAP courses for new tutors. Educational development staff in the South West region will be informed of the resource. The resource has already been requested by the University of Southampton for use on their PGCAP and will be on the list of online resources for staff undertaking the PGCAP at the University of Plymouth, thus engendering a cumulative knowledge base around VI and STEM in HE over succeeding years, developing staff knowledge and enhancing curricula. Concomitantly, VI student participation in HE and experience of studying on STEM subjects should be maximised to enhance equality of access and thus progression into placement and employment opportunities in these fields.

If you would like further information about the project or its on-going legacy, please contact the project lead, EA Draffan, as below:

Contact EA Draffan



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Staff involved

EA Draffan
Project lead, University of Southampton

Judith Waterfield
Project lead, Plymouth University

Iryna Withington
University of Bath

John Conway
Royal Agricultural College

Sharron Sturgess
Loughborough University

Simon Hayhoe
London School of Economics