Anticipatory needs

What are anticipatory needs?

The Special Educational Needs and Disability Act (SENDA) (2001) amends the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) (1995), and therefore forms part of the legislation governing Universities education provision.

The duties under the Act are anticipatory; which means that it is not good enough to wait until a disabled person applies to a course or tries to use a service to start thinking about what reasonable adjustments should have been made. The University must consider what it can do to accommodate students who are covered by the Act both prior to application and following acceptance onto a course at the University.

It is important to note that members of staff at the University are not required to become an 'expert' in the field of disability issues, however, by working as a team with Student Wellbeing Service, inclusion is likely to be more effectively achieved.

The duty of responsibility is to all disabled people and it is expected that good practice is demonstrated whether or not a disabled student is in attendance, such as providing an electronic version of a session PowerPoint prior to the session. When designing a session/course, lecturers should anticipate the needs of all students including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities and factor this into their session plan/course design. You may find it useful to familiarise yourself with supporting students with Specific Learning Difficulties.

Example: When producing handouts for sessions, lecturers take into consideration the needs of all students by producing handouts in electronic format. A student with a disability can convert these handouts into large print or appropriate alternative formats.

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