Virtual International Conference 2021
Joining the dots of inclusive practice – what is the picture now?
Free, virtual conference with CPD points available!
Our NADP community is diverse, composed of people with different job roles, needs and strengths but we all work to ensure access to a quality educational experience for students. We support learning differences whilst recognising the diverse backgrounds of students and the intersectionalities these produce.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to exert an important impact on education. Most courses are being taught primarily via remote learning with only a small amount of essential some in-person delivery. We have worked to ensure that teaching remains student-centred and that support to access the learning remains relevant and useful.
Our professional and academic communities have learnt a great deal from the rapid adjustments required to move support to blended and online formats. We have discovered some great, new practices but also some encountered some real challenges.
This conference aims to ‘join the dots’ by identifying and sharing good practice and discussing how to resolve the challenges to ensure progress in inclusive practice continues in the future and momentum is not lost.
Welcome to Conference from Brian, our Chair
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A warm welcome to all delegates, presenters and sponsors for NADP’s Virtual International Conference 2021.
As you will know, it has been a challenging year for all due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact and effect it’s had on not only our working practises across the sector, but also the direct impact on the student experience for disabled students. This is notwithstanding the personal impact and effect the pandemic has had for each of us in the process, and I trust that you have been safe and well during this challenging time.
Despite the challenges during 2020 and 2021, I’m very pleased to share with you some of the successes that we as an organisation have had, and in context, the impact of our collective work across the wider sector. In addition, NADP’s Covid-19 Resource Hub was well regarded by our members and the wider sector.
Our core mission has been to promote excellence in quality, sustainability and inclusivity of post-16 provision for disabled students and staff in higher and further education. Our energy and passion to meet this aim are as strong now as ever.
NADP’s strength of voice continues to grow and is highly valued, with direct influence and impact on the sector, along with our sector stakeholder partners and DfE and SLC.
In addition, over the past year and more, NADP have established a cohesive working partnership with the Disabled Students’ Commission, and subsequently have a formal representative link to the Disabled Students Commission, Patrick Johnson, as a primary contact for NADP and our Board of Directors.
As such, the work that we do within NADP does, and will continue to have, a direct impact on influencing best practise across the sector relating to the disabled student journey and the DSA process, most importantly in enabling disabled students to engage equitably with their course of study and with continued focus on quality of retention and achievement.
Continued focus is needed to develop clear transitional and inclusive support between modes of study, from school to further education, from further education or returning to study to higher education, and from higher education into graduate employment.
Focus on intersectionality and the digital poverty divide are also significant factors in our collective sector work moving froward. Understanding the factors, complexities and challenges for students is vital in understanding the impact on the student experience.
Alongside, development in standardising sector language and terminologies is needed, with a keen and sustained use of the Social Model of Disability. Using one shared, inclusive language to describe identities, processes including DSA terminology, and sector language relating to services delivered through HEIs, Assessment Centres, Equipment suppliers, AT Training delivery and NMH support, and relating job roles would enable a much more level and cohesive experience for students.
NADP have been working with sector partners to influence the ongoing DSA reform, procurement tenders, e-quote system and SLC service developments with a sustained perspective on quality of delivery to students. As we know, these are areas which have impacted on the sector as a whole due to the levels of uncertainty and the prolonged timeframes associated. The balance of ‘value for money’ for DfE and SLC, financial stability for sector relating business inclusive of those large and small, whilst ensuring a cohesive standard of services to students are a distinct challenge for all. However, transparency in the ongoing discussions and the increasing spirit of working together have been the positives over the past year that I am sure will continue to develop toward a long-term, sustainable outcome for the sector.
Much more for us to do collectively, and collaboratively, to achieve a standard of excellence across the sector.
As a measure of our growth, NADP has now achieved CIC status as voted for by NADP Membership at our last AGM in 2020. Within in our new constitution, we no longer need to hold AGM’s. However, we are determined to continue to ensure there is ongoing clarity for our membership in the planning, activity and work performed by the NADP Office and Board of Directors on behalf of membership. We will continue to report to you all as well as our annual statement of how we have served our community which is a legal requirement of CIC status. Collectively, we are NADP after all!
NADP’s Accreditation Scheme is now established, and with a quality assured process underpinning the process. I can say, having recently completed the Senior Accreditation Status, that the process was a thoroughly rewarding one for me personally, enabling the opportunity to fully reflect on my own practice, knowledge and experience in such a way that I have developed new-found confidence in my ability that I never knew I had!
Special thanks go to the NADP Office Team who have been immense over the past year and more. Their passion and drive have enabled NADP to be what it is today.
The Board and Office team have been most recently working on a revised NADP staff structure, with a view to enhancing our ability to reflecting the membership needs over time.
Across the office and board, we have a considered pride in the quality of our training events, conferences, the NADP Awards Scheme, and the engagement with our active and passionate membership. Without our members as you know, we would not be the organisation we are.
The Board of Directors have also been crucial in ensuring that NADP continues to be strong voice in the sector, and with our various committees such as the Conference Planning and Awards Panel Committees, leading to quality offers such as this event.
I can confirm that I will be standing down as Chair of NADP on Wednesday 23 June 2021, following the end of my three-year tenure. And what a ride it has been!
In doing so, I have also decided to step down from the Board of Directors. My decision has been to ensure I can establish a healthy work/life balance personally, whilst also enabling the Board’s rotation of Directors to bring renewed energy, talent, creativity and specialism to NADP.
I will miss NADP for all that the organisation has done for me over the years and will continue to take a very special place in my heart and mind.
Suffice to say, I will continue to be involved in NADP activity, as Chair of LINK (through to November 2021), and continue to work in the sector in my HE Partnerships and Inclusion role with Diversity and Ability (D&A), so do get in touch with me if you would like to work together on inclusion relative to your organisation’s need.
I am sure you are thinking now, who will be Chair of NADP from June?
Well, stay tuned, and I will be confirming the news during the conference period. Suffice to say, I am highly excited for NADP in its next steps.
And so, here we are. 2021, and the world has changed significantly, and continues to do so with pace. The work we do, and how we do it, has changed. Work and study can be delivered remotely! Who would have thought that 14 months ago? (I know the answer…, ‘we did!’). Many of us are embracing new hybrid models of working with students and in doing so, this conference serves to explore these themes further.
Joining the dots across our sector is core, understanding how we align our work, our services and culture together is an important step in defining a fully inclusive learning environment for all.
I would encourage all to engage fully with the conference, actively listen, respond, discuss, challenge, reflect, learn and most of all, enjoy yourselves.
For now, take care, stay safe, enjoy the conference, and as always, remember that you are vital. You are NADP!
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The conference will be held over the 5 weeks of June 2021 and each week will explore a theme connected with all our diverse roles.
All conference material is free and will remain on the site for the foreseeable future.
Did you join the balloon race? Our winner was MillieManda who travelled 5480Km in the 3 weeks – Congratulations to Amanda from the University of Brighton.
Hear from our headline sponsors
Watch our short videos for more information, and don’t forget to check out their goody bag prizes!
Feedback from the 2020 virtual NADP Conference
- Excellent conference – such a wide range of videos which I could access as a Deaf delegate and accessible webinars too.
- Great conference, good choice of presentations
- I enjoyed the conference and found the presentations very insightful and useful. It has certainly started me thinking.
- I couldn’t attend the conference at the time and it has been great to use the videos as resources in training my staff.
- I have no idea how NADP managed to move a conference online at short notice and make sure it was accessible!