Reporter 407, 6 October 1997

New appointment to put disability on the agenda

The University’s new disabilities officer, Judith Russell, had her work singled out as an example of “good practice” by Sir Ron Dearing in his recent report. Ms Russell was Education Adviser at Sheffield Hallam where efforts to provide support for disabled students won recognition from the higher education commissioner.

One aim for the next year, she says, is to ensure greater equality of access for approximately 1,600 students and staff with disabilities. “There’s a great deal of work to be done. The Baines Wing is being completely refurbished to provide disabled access and so are other older buildings.”

Leeds is one of a small number of universities which links disability services into the committee system via the Pro-Vice-Chancellor’s Committee on Disability, chaired by Professor David Sugden. Judith said: “It’s great that the University of Leeds has a committee where disability issues can be raised, that is very much a plus. It moves disability further up the University’s agenda.”

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