Further education

3rd December 2004 at 00:00
LEARNERS' EXPERIENCES DVD. Free from the Learning and Skills Development Agency. www.lsda.org.uk Tel: 0207 297 9144

This powerful and thought-provoking DVD, which is subtitled A Training Resource on the Disability Discrimination Act, uses students' voices to reach staff in further education. It encourages them not to be afraid to work with students to resolve their difficulties and agree the support or assistive technology they need.

The DVD is skilfully compiled to stimulate discussion around the issues that need to be considered to offer a truly inclusive education service. It cannot cover all eventualities, but it does enable staff to relate to an experience that they have had or are aware of.

Attention is drawn to the importance of avoiding false assumptions and of ensuring that students' aspirations are listened to, taken seriously and valued, thus encouraging them to raise their expectations.

One of the clips shows how a teacher works with the whole class to raise awareness of disability. Students are taught to recognise when others within the group need help, creating an environment where all feel comfortable, accepted, included and respected. It is a powerful learning tool in its own right.

Above all, the resource drives home the importance of seeing past the disability, to the person. However, it does not go far enough in addressing the fear some people feel when faced with a person with disabilities. It also lacks a clear focus on the strategies that are vital to create an effective learning environment for all students.

Debbie Bagnall

Curriculum team manager (additional support)

Lis Bates

Director - curriculum development

Chichester College, West Sussex

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