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LSBU Professor Deborah Johnston appointed Commissioner for disabled students in England

Professor Deborah Johnston, Pro-Director for Education at LSBU has been appointed (9 March) as one of six new Commissioners for Disabled Students in England by the regulator for higher education, the Office for Students (OfS)
20 March 2020

The Disabled Students’ Commission (DSC), originally established in 2019, was set up to help universities and colleges remove barriers that prevent disabled students from having access to higher education and from succeeding in having the best possible experience during their studies.

With the introduction of reformed access and participation plans and the broad range of higher education provision across the sector, there is now a fresh impetus to draw on best practice and encourage initiatives proven to work for disabled students before, during, and after their studies.

The Commission’s activities will include providing recommendations and research that aims to:

  • advise, inform and challenge the English higher education sector to improve models of support for disabled students – this includes higher education providers, sector agencies, regulators and the government;
  • identify and promote effective practice that helps students with disabilities to have a positive and successful experience at university.

Professor Deborah Johnston, LSBU’s Pro-Director for Education, said: “I am delighted to be appointed as one of the first Commissioners for the Disabled Students’ Commission and look forward to taking up the challenge on behalf of students at LSBU, where I now work, as well as across the country.”

Professor David Phoenix, Vice-Chancellor of LSBU, said: “Disabled students at LSBU and throughout England, should be able to gain access to educational facilities and enjoy and benefit from all that university life has to offer.

“In particular, students with disabilities should have access to inclusive teaching and learning, appropriate living spaces and opportunities for extra-curricular activities.

“I am pleased to hear that Professor Johnston, who has recently been appointed as LSBU’s new Pro-Director for Education, will also be part of this strong and effective group of commissioners, focused on ensuring the best possible outcomes for disabled students nationwide.”

The six DSC board members are:

  • Sean Cullen – Disability Officer, Brunel University
  • Susan Daniels – Chief Executive Officer, National Deaf Children's Society
  • Professor Sarah Greer, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost, University of Worcester
  • Patrick Johnson – Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, University of Manchester
  • Professor Deborah Johnston – Pro-Director (Learning and Teaching) and Professor of Development Economics at SOAS, University of London
  • Piers Wilkinson - Disabled Students’ Officer, National Union of Students

Read more about the Disabled Students' Commission.