Helen has worked in the field of disability support for the past sixteen years, in a variety of roles across the Higher Education and Voluntary Sectors. She has been in her current role as Deputy Head of the Disability Advisory Service (DAS) at the University of Oxford for the past two years (with one year of this period spent as Joint Acting Head of Service). In the five years prior to this she was a Senior Disability Officer within the same team. The DAS facilitates support and reasonable adjustments for disabled students and provide advice and recommendations to staff supporting them.
Helen is also Head of the University of Oxford Assessment Centre (OUAC), overseeing the operational running of the centre in line with DSA-QAG requirements and managing a team of assessors who conduct needs assessments for students as part of the Disabled Student Allowance Process.
Prior to joining the University of Oxford (in 2011), she worked for nine years in the Voluntary Sector where her roles included: Regional Manager of Community Support Services for Sense (a national charity supporting deafblind people), Manager of a local charity supporting disabled people and Coordinator of a Disability Research Network which supported disabled people in Further Education and on into employment as Researchers.
With regard to relevant qualifications, Helen has an undergraduate degree in Psychology, a Postgraduate Diploma in Deafblind Studies, a BSL qualification (Level 2, Signature) and she is a fluent Deafblind Manual signer (a form of tactile sign language) to interpreter level. She is a qualified Visual Impairment Mobility and Orientation trainer and a qualified sighted guide.
Helen has been a member of the CHESS Planning Group (Consortium of Higher Education Support Services with Deaf Students) since 2012 and she is also Director of a local charity which offers support for people with visual impairments. She sits on a number of disability and welfare related committees within the University of Oxford and she is a member of the National Network of Assessment Centres (NNAC).
Helen feels passionately about inclusion, in terms of embedding inclusive teaching practice, ensuring inclusive access to information and built environments and facilitating communication to support social inclusion and reduce isolation.