Testimonial: Lisa Forbes, University of Roehampton

Lisa Forbes, University of Roehampton

Head of Disability Services / Access Centre

In my role as Head of Disability Services / Access Centre Manager, I worked with Diversity and Ability (D&A) for over 5 years and found their energy, creativity and enthusiasm thoroughly refreshing. Their integrity and learner-centred vision permeate all aspects of their services – they really do listen to what students want. As a disabled-led organisation, it’s clear that this makes a difference in the dynamic of the support provided, as D&A trainers relate to their students and the barriers they face, so can offer practical advice and support. On that note, some of our former students, having received D&A support went on to work at D&A as trainers, so there’s a nice model where D&A provide employment opportunities for disabled graduates as well. 

D&A sees all aspects of the student experience in a connected and holistic way, which, in an environment where many services are working in isolation, is important in ensuring students receive high-quality support. They have worked with us to try to close gaps between the needs assessment, 1:1 support and AT training, encouraging communication across services both informally and via their Individual Learning Review’s (ILR). This document is shared with our 1:1 tutors to support the students’ ongoing learning of AT. D&A is passionate about sharing knowledge and expertise and have provided training to our team of tutors and also group AT sessions for our international students and those ineligible for DSA funding. They are innovative in their approach and enthusiastic about trying new ways of working.

Initially, it was Atif’s enthusiasm and collaborative way of working with us that appealed, but we saw the same vision shared with all members of the D&A team. In the world of higher education, we all strive to be learner-centred, but D&A is actually doing it and are a pleasure to work with.

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