Writtle University College and ARU have merged. Writtle’s full range of college, degree, postgraduate and short courses will still be delivered on the Writtle campus. See our guide to finding Writtle information on this site.

Inclusive Practices

We are particularly proud to share this story and related resources which we hope will serve as an example of good practice for others working in higher education, but also as a strong message to our students demonstrating the importance with which we hold our inclusion work.

The university’s Disability Working Group (DWG) was formed in 2014 to limit the negative impact of planned cuts to Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA). The group was chaired by the Deputy Dean of the Lord Ashcroft International Business School.

What does this mean for our students?

The DWG led our university to move to a more inclusive approach to learning, teaching and assessment. This not only directly benefits our disabled students but also our entire student body more widely, in particular the very significant numbers of students (including UK students) whose first language is not English.

One of the core products from the DWG is the Inclusive and Accessible Learning Materials Policy which sets out our commitment to students to make sure they have access to the learning materials they need to make the most of their learning experience.

Inclusive and Accessible Learning Materials Policy

The key principles of the policy are that:

  1. Class presentations/outlines are available to learners at least two working days in advance of the class.
  2. Lecturers’ core materials, e.g. key readings and multi-media files, are available at least 2 weeks in advance.
  3. Accessible templates and/or guidance on the creation of accessible documents are used for creating all teaching documents and presentations.
  4. Colour coding (e.g. red and green ratings) on all documents should also include an additional indication e.g. numbers or symbols.
  5. Learners are permitted to audio-record classes, tutorials and other teaching/supervision sessions using their own equipment for their own personal learning.
  6. Readings are all available in advance of classes and in an accessible document format.

We have also produced a guide which staff and students use to understand different types of disability or specific learning difficulty and how best to respond to them.

Guide for Supporting Learners Through Inclusive Materials

Four years down the line and we continue to work hard to ensure inclusive practices are a priority for the university, its staff and students. The university is now turning its energies to tackling priority actions like attainment gaps between our black and minority ethnic and white students, developing an inclusive curriculum framework and ensuring that the student voice continues to have a leading influence on our work on inclusive practices.

Useful resources

Our Inclusive Learning and Teaching page on the Anglia Learning and Teaching website shares plenty of information and resources which can be readily accessed both on and off campus, including guidance on creating accessible documents, inclusive use of learning technologies, an inclusive classroom practice resource and much more.

Our Library Services team has also developed the Staff Guide to Inclusive Practice which explains the different types of disability, their characteristics and the challenges which might be faced in each case.

Our Study Skills Plus service offers a range of academic development workshops as well as one to one study coaching to help students develop learning skills for Higher Education. Workshops and appointments can be booked online and cover a whole range of topics including academic writing and critical thinking as well as maths and IT skills.

Articles and presentations about our work on Inclusive Practices

Presentation on Institutional Approaches to Making Accessibility and Inclusion part of the Culture at AMOSSHE Annual Conference 2018
by Katie Potts, Anglia Ruskin University and Jacqui Lenaghen, University of Stirling.

Video of keynote speech by the Chair of the Disability Working Group
Dr Sally Everett, at the 2017 ECU Annual Conference.

HEFCE Best Practice Case Study on the DWG in Findings: Sector-leading and innovative practice in advancing equality and diversity
Report to HEFCE by the Equality Challenge Unit (HEFCE, April 2017)

Journal article in Teaching in Higher Education entitled Engaging and training students in the development of inclusive learning materials for their peers
(Everett & Oswald, December 2017)

Times Higher article, How to make your university disability-friendly
(Everett, November 2017)