Equality and diversity resources

In this section you will find SWAP's learning and teaching resources related to inclusion, diversity, accessibility and widening participation.

Highlighted resource
Download SWAP digest 1

SWAP digest 1 - Supporting inclusive learning and teaching helps you make your learning and teaching inclusive for all. It was produced as a result of the introduction of the Disability Equality Duty on 4 December 2006 and requires all public authorities to look actively at ways of ensuring that disabled people are treated equally.

Published June 2007

Download SWAP digest 1 (PDF, 246KB)


Mental Health in Higher Education (mhhe) - This project aims to enhance learning and teaching about mental health across the disciplines in UK higher education (current).

Health and social work students and carers evaluating multimedia resources for people with communication difficulties (2006)
Summary report (Word 118KB); Final report (Word 113KB)

Holistic approach to support for learning and retention of non-traditional entry students (2003)
Kate Kirk, Manchester Metropolitan University
Project summary

Younger students in social work education: our new non traditional students? (2007)
Cath Holmstrom, University of Sussex
Project summary


SWAP digest 1 - Supporting inclusive learning and teaching (PDF, 246KB)
A short 4-page guide designed to support social work and social policy academics make their teaching inclusive.

Access to Practice: Overcoming the barriers to practice learning for disabled social work students (2004) (PDF, 500KB)
Bob Sapey, Rosemary Turner & Sue Orton were commissioned by SWAP to write a guide for the Social Work BA with a focus on England. The publication is specifically designed to support social work departments as they work with the new regulations and requirements of the BA Social Work and with the implications of DDA Part 4 for disabled student placements.

The Higher Education Academy Pscyhology Network has produced some e-bulletins on Inclusive Practice'. including 'Competence Standards', 'Inclusive Teaching Practice', 'Inclusive Curriculum Practice', and 'Student Engagement'

SWAP funded project report: Diversity and Achievement: An Evaluation of Support for Learning (PDF, 185kb) Kate Kirk, Manchester Metropolitan University, 2003; Since completing the project Kate Kirk has undertaken further research integrating her findings. Details of this are included in the flyer Diversity and Achievement : How non-traditional entry students succeed in HE (PDF, 753kb) 2006

SWAP funded project report: Health and social work students and carers evaluating multimedia resources for people with communication difficulties (jointly funded with the Health Sciences and Practice Subject Centre). Project report (Word, 113KB); Summary report (Word, 118KB); Robert Johns, University of East London with City University, 2006

Case studies

Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) for employment based students (2005)
Carmel Byers, University of Hertfordshire
Case study summary

Using social policy research about people with learning difficulties in teaching (2007)
Rachel Forrester-Jones, University of Kent
Case study summary

Using social policy research into age and gender discrimination in teaching (2007)
Diane Grant and Claire Hennessy, Liverpool John Moore's University
Case study summary

Target recruitment for under-represented groups in Social Policy and Criminology (2002)
Majella Kilkey, University of Hull
Case study summary

Mobile Assistance - The Nintendo DS Lite as an assistive tool for health and social care students (2008)
Andy Pulman, Bournemouth University
Case study summary

Changing Structure of Whole Course to allow part time study for own learning needs/ carer needs/ disabilities while still fitting in with rules for full time funding and graduation with cohort (2006)
Geoff Tookey, DeMontfort University
Case study summary

Book reviews

Islam and social work (2008)
Sara Ashencaen Crabtree, Fatima Husain and Basia Spalek
Reviewed by Shula Ramon, Professor of Interprofessional Health and Social Studies, Anglia Ruskin University

Social Work with Older People (2006)
Philipps, J. Ray, M. & Marshall, M
Reviewed by Trish Hafford-Letchfield, Senior Lecturer in Social Work, London South Bank University

Social Work with Disabled People (2006)
Oliver, Michael; Sapey, Bob
Reviewed by Pauline Noden, Principal Lecturer in Social Work, Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College

External resources


Equality and Human Rights Commission - The Equality and Human Rights Commission has produced a wealth of information for public authorities and disabled people.

Equality Forward Scotland supports colleges and unviersities in Scotland in their work towards ensuring equlaity for all staff, students and prospective students.

Equality Challenge Unit supports the higher education sector in its mission to realise the potential of all staff and students whatever their race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion and belief or age, to the benefit of those individuals, higher education institutions and society.

The European Access Network encourages wider access to HE for those who are currently underrepresented, whether for reasons of gender, ethnic origin, nationality, age, disability, family background, vocational training, geographic location, or earlier educational disadvantage.

National Autistic Society champion the rights and interests of all people with autism. Their website includes several useful resources such as the booklet, Social care: assessment of need for adults with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), for professionals who are involved in assessment and care planning for adults with an ASD.

Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) was established in 2001 to improve social care services for adults and children in the UK. The Insutitute regularly produces resource guides, research briefings and knowledge reviews on service user and carer participation.

Skill: National Bureau for Students with Disabilities is an independent charity that promotes opportunities for people with any kind of disability in learning and employment. Since 1974 they have been helping young people and adults over 16 with any kind of disability including physical and sensory disabilities, learning and mental health difficulties throughout the UK. They believe that for many disabled people education is the key to leading a fulfilling and independent life.

TechDis - A JISC-funded service (Joint Information Systems Committee) and aims to be the leading educational advisory service, working across the UK, in the fields of accessibility and inclusion. TechDis aims to enhance provision for disabled students and staff in higher, further and specialist education and adult and community learning, through the use of technology.

Higher Education Academy Widening Participation Research Service offers support to all staff in higher education with a widening participation remit. It provides access to research information, services and resources, thereby supporting the embedding of diversity and widening participation throughout the student lifecycle. There are a number of searchable research services available so you can view resources from across the higher education sector.

Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETLs)

The Centre for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Mental Health

The Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning in Mental Health and Social Work

Enabling Achievement within a Diverse Student Body


Action on Access is the national coordination team for widening participation appointed by the HEFCE and the Learning & Skills Council (LSC). This website provides a broad range of information and resources for anyone with an interest in supporting disabled students in higher education.

ALERT - Accessibility in Learning Environments and Related Technologies is a website of resources, case studies and links, aimed at improving the accessibility of online learning in specific subject areas.

BRAIN.HE - Best resources for achievement and intervention re neurodiversity in higher education
BRAINHE.com is a non-commercial/non-profit making resource website for students and staff in higher education. It is run at De Montfort University to help students with SpLDs (specific learning differences) and staff working with them.

Disability CPD: continuing professional development for staff involved in the learning and teaching of disabled students - a guide on 'Continuing Professional Development for Accessible Learning and Teaching in Higher Education' and an online staff development course.

The Higher Education Academy Inclusion section - The HEA's section on inclusion, which includes work in the areas of disability equality, degree attainment (particularly gender and ethnicity), widening participation, student retention and success

The Institute for Access Studies is a research unit specialising in widening participation, based at Staffordshire University. It also hosts the journal Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning.

Inequalities Blog; Research and reflection from both sides of the Atlantic - This blog was set up by several young researchers from universities on both sides of the Atlantic who wanted to create a space to critically discuss research on inequality, both our own research and the most interesting research we come across; and to create a community of people who want to try and tackle the injustices they see in the world by shedding light on things that would otherwise be invisible.

Making your teaching inclusive - This Open University website has practical advice about teaching inclusively and will also help you meet the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act. It will give you an insight into what study is like for disabled students, and what you can do to make a difference.

The Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) is the largest charity to support deaf people, and includes many factsheets and leaflets to help support deaf people at further and higher education.

The Royal National Institute for Blind People (RNIB) education services work to ensure children and adults with sight problems gain access to the best education opportunities at home, school, and university and in the wider community. They aim to increase the percentage of people with sight problems who succeed in higher education.

Strategies for Creating Inclusive Programmes of Study (SCIPS) - A web based resource that provides strategies for creating inclusive programmes of study (includes Social Work)

Toolkits for Success - Managing off-campus learning for students with disabilities - A website providing dedicated information, advice and resources for disabled students, for academics involved in the provision of placements, and for prospective employers offering work experience, internships and placements.


Achieving Accessible Assessment (Triple A Project) - HEFCE funded project at Nottignham Trent University designed to make practically based subjects more inclusive for all students regardless of impairment.

The Inclusive Curriculum Project (ICP)- ICP is a project of the Geography Discipline Network, which works closely with the GEES (Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences) Subject Centre, and has produced a series of nine staff guides and one student guide designed to support disabled students in higher education.

Partners in Practice - A project led by the University of Bristol on disability equality in healthcare (ended 2005).

Premia - Making research education accessible - The Premia project aims to improve provision for disabled postgraduate research students.

Professional Education and Disability Support (PEdDS) Project - This project ran from February 2003 to June 2005 and addressed questions about the adequacy of placement support for disabled students on social work programmes with a particular focus on students whose needs are 'unseen' (e.g. dyslexia, mental health problems, diabetes, asthma, etc). The project focussed on identifying any challenges that social work students face on placement as well as exploring positive experiences of support.

Staff-Student Partnership for Assessment Change and Evaluation Project (SPACE) - SPACE is a three-year HEFCE funded project, based at the University of Plymouth, developing and promoting alternative forms of assessment as a way of facilitating a more inclusive approach to assessment.

The Teachability project - Based at the University of Strathclyde, the Teachability project's publications on the creation of an accessible curriculum for students with disabilities are freely available (ended 2006).


Disability Discrimination Act 1995 Part 4 Code of Practice - A code of practice concerning the duties upon providers of post-16 edcuation and related services which came into effect on 1 September 2006.

Disability Rights Commission (2007) Understanding the Disability Discrimination Act - Guidance on implementing the disability legislation, addressing the involvement of disabled people, both students and staff, as well as methods of involvement. (Scroll down the page for the link to the Word document)

Enhancing Student Engagement in the First Year: 10 Strategies for success - A good practice guide produced by the Griffith Institute for Higher Education in Australia

Higher Education Institutions DED Overview Assessment Report (PDF) - An assessment of the perfomance of 21 HEIS in relation to the Disability Equality Duty in 2007

Supporting dyslexic students on practice placements - A guide for supervisors/mentors working with students on health and social care courses at the University of Southampton

Supporting students with asperger's syndrome - A practice guide produced by the Physical Sciences Subject Centre, June 2009

For further resources such as news and events on inclusion and diversity, please use the search box on the left.

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