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Petition to set up a National Advocacy Service - NUS Disabled Students' Campaign

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Disabled students should be able to pursue education to their full potential. The NUS ‘Life, Not Numbers’ report found that too often, this is not the case.

We, the undersigned, believe that a National Advocacy Service should be established to support disabled students in accessing the personal care they are entitled to.
The NUS ‘Life Not Numbers’ report into the experiences of disabled students found a number of issues of real concern:

Institution and course choices are too frequently based on the relative level of care students are able to receve, rather than on what best suits them. Indeed, this lack of choice means that this group of disabled students’ rights to equality in education under article 24 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRDP) 6 are not being upheld. Moreover, issues with portability of care could constitute a breach of movement under article 18 and 18 of the UN Convention.Information, advice and guidance (IAG) about support and equipment is sorely inadequate, and where it does exist, information given in one area often does not apply in another.Disabled students are too often caught between arguments between social services and universities about who should be responsible for funding certain types of support. This has an impact on aspirations, and indeed can cause people to doubt their decision to attend university.Ambiguity about the funding responsibilities of health authorities, universities and social services is a real problem, and needs to be clearly defined inrelation to personal care and support of disabled students in higher education.

The National Advocacy Service would help to provide information, advice and guidance (IAG) as to the care disabled students are entitled to, to help to address practical issues surrounding the provision of care, and to provide support when this care is not forthcoming The National Advocacy Service would be run by disabled students and recent graduates.

It would involve a website setting out disabled students’ rights; access to further information, advice and guidance; and advocacy.
For more information about the NUS Disabled Students’ Campaign, please go to

National Advocacy Service - working alongside disabled students - empowering them to have the confidence to represent themselves.


Rupy Kaur, NUS National Disabled Students' Officer

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