New RCVS Disability Working Party gets underway
9 December 2002
The first meeting of the RCVS Disability Working Party was held last week (4th December), under the chairmanship of Professor Richard Halliwell, the RCVS Junior Vice President. The working party has been convened to prepare guidance to the UK's six veterinary schools on issues raised by the recently amended Disability Discrimination Act (1995), as they affect the admission and graduation of disabled students to the veterinary degree.
The working party aims to present draft guidance to RCVS Education Committee in February 2003; once approved, the draft will then go to the veterinary schools for comment before returning for consideration by RCVS Council. The additional members of the working party are Professor Jacky Reid from Glasgow, Dr. Catherine Payne-Johnson from Liverpool, and Anne Tynan (see note), the student disability officer from the Royal Veterinary College.
Under the direction of Anne Tynan, the Royal Veterinary College is currently undertaking a major project that will look at the disability issues facing the veterinary profession. The DIVERSE project (Disability in Veterinary Education - Resources for Sustainable Enhancement) has attracted a £245,000 grant from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and has the following objectives:.
- To evaluate the extent to which students with particular disabilities will be able to satisfy the requirements of veterinary degree courses, including work placements, and to identify accommodations - e.g. special equipment - to enable them to do so.
- To work with schools and staff to produce a range of information resources for supporting disabled students in veterinary schools over the next decade.
- To develop a programme of staff development resources for staff at veterinary schools and veterinary practices used in placements.
- To provide transferable resources for use in medical and dental schools.