Date lodged: 2 November 2016
To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to encourage universities to make their facilities more accessible to disabled people.
Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville 14 November 2016
The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring that all students with a disability, long term medical condition or additional support needs are able to access higher education and are fully supported throughout their studies. Universities have a duty under the Equality Act 2010 to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to ensure that students with disabilities which affect their studies are not placed at a disadvantage. In addition to this, universities receive funding from the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) in the form of the Disabled Students Premium, which enables them to make their institution and course provision more inclusive through reasonable adjustments for students with additional needs. A total of £2.8m was allocated to universities in academic year 2016-17.
We continue to work closely with the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), the sector and through the Disabled Students Advisory Group (DSAG) which comprises a wide range of experts in the field of support for disabled students, to review inclusive practices which Scottish universities have in place to support disabled students and identify where improvements can be made.