Providing Learning Support for Students with Mobility Impairments Undertaking Fieldwork and Related Activities

Practical Matters

Legal considerations

All Higher Education Institutions have to comply with the requirements of the 1995 Disability Discrimination Act by producing a Disability Statement which outlines the kind of support a disabled student can reasonably expect at the institution. It is suggested that this should be checked against departmental provisions, and a brief outline should be produced which complements the HEI's Statement, and makes specific reference to fieldwork.

All fieldwork activities must be subject to risk assessments. Each HEI has its own procedures for this, which should be followed. The presence of student(s) with mobility impairment might significantly affect the assessment of risk, and the control measures necessary. Local Health and Safety Officers should be involved as appropriate in making such assessments. Personal Egress Plans (PEPs) will normally be provided for students with mobility impairments within the HEI, and consideration will have to be given as to whether similar procedures need to be prepared for other locations.

Staff must be familiar with emergency evacuation procedures for premises used during fieldwork, and must ensure that all students are made aware of these. They should be aware that in the case of students with mobility impairments, including those in wheelchairs, emergency procedures might not involve evacuation but instead the use of refuges within the building, the locations of which should be established and made known not only to students with impairments but also any others who may need to know, such as their helpers or room mates.

Details of the Special Education Needs and Disability Act (2001) can be found in the Overview guide to this series.

Page updated 14 December 2001

GDN pages maintained by Phil Gravestock