Hi all,
Yes - good advice I would say Sam.
These are very difficult areas to deal with where other students are involved - it shows how deeply we need to go to ensure truly inclusive environments. All students must also buy into this idea and behave appropriately if inclusion is to work. It is partly about creating a tolerant and empathetic society and partly about preparing students to manage in the workplace in the future without contravening Equality Laws.
Thus the two-pronged approach suggested below is a good one - talk with the student and then the cohort.
The major difficulty with arranging awareness sessions for the main cohort now of course, is how to involve the student concerned rather than running sessions 'behind their back', as it were. I think it is important to try and discuss this as part of your initial conversations with the student and you may want to include a discussion with disability services as they may already have some background information/knowledge to help smooth the discussion.

As a person with Tourettes Syndrome, Jess Thom ( ), has some extraordinary and powerful stories of being excluded for similar reasons and could be a useful way to start any discussion with students about tolerance and exclusion. Often this kind of disturbance is more about expectation than reality. You probably know this, but there are now such things as 'relaxed' Theatre performances which enable all those who might disturb others through no fault of their own to enjoy the theatre. I once performed on stage with someone talking all through the first half - I got angrier and angrier and must have been giving an awful performance I was so distracted, until by the interval I was rude could someone be???? I then learnt, to my shame, that the person was talking their blind partner through the show. Once I knew that though, I was able to get through the second half without disturbance to the point that I didn't even notice any longer. There are many such examples in other fields - understanding, empathy - if students expect the interruptions and understand why they are made, they can accept them for what they are and disturbance is minimal.

Of course - the usual rider here is: I don't know this student, the level, volume, appropriateness or frequency of interruption and so the above is one suggestion that may help......but may not!
Good luck
Best wishes

-----Original Message-----
From: Online forum for SEDA, the Staff & Educational Development Association [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Samantha Coles
Sent: 17 May 2017 20:05
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Being inclusive but how far do we adjust?

Hi Christine,

A definite caution around exclusion - there's potential for direct disability discrimination or discrimination arising from a disability here.

From experience my advice would be working with the student themselves - it's about making them aware of expectations around their behaviour within that setting and exploring any support they may need to continue to be included in the teaching and learning environment.  An awareness raising session for students (and staff) is always useful to aid understanding of difference and to create a more inclusive environment. I can think of a particular student I've worked with and who would always shout out in committee meetings etc. We used simple strategies like getting him to write down the things he was burning to say and getting him to recognise appropriate times within which to say them. Hope that's of some use.

I look forward to seeing your collated responses.

Best regards,


Sam Coles

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Advisor
Central College Nottingham

t: 0115 8842582
m: 07947230378
e: [log in to unmask]
From: Online forum for SEDA, the Staff & Educational Development Association [[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Christine Smith [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: 17 May 2017 18:35
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Being inclusive but how far do we adjust?

Dear all
I have been contacted by a concerned academic colleague with an issue and am posting here for your helpful thoughts and/or advices- if you wish to reply off list I will collate the responses and share with anyone interested- thanks

The colleague has a student who is autistic in his cohort. This manifests in e.g. the student speaking out irregularly such as in the middle of a lecture. Other students (and the lecturer) are finding this distracting and lose concentration and students have complained they cannot hear the lecturer. The lecturer is reluctant to exclude the student and (say) record the lecture for the student to watch. He worries it will isolate the student. Yet the lecturer has also to be mindful for the experience and learning of other students.
Are there experiences that any of you know and can share that are similar to this and what was done ?
Thanks so much
Dr Christine Smith

Sent from my iPhone