Disability voice and education policy – Wed 24 March 2021 – Online Resilience Forum

Disability voice and education policy – Wed 24 March 2021 – Online Resilience Forum

Topic  Disability voice and education policy: an open discussion for changing times – Megan Hector and Mirika Flegg

Date  Wednesday 24 March 2021

Time 16:00 – 17:30

Location Online (please arrive in the online platform 5 minutes prior)

The Resilience Forum is for ANYBODY (with a pulse!) involved with or interested in resilience research

Session Summary
Through lively discussion, this forum explores findings from “Arriving at Thriving: Learning from Disabled students to ensure access for all”, a report by Policy Connect and the Higher Education Commission (October, 2020). This report arose from a public inquiry into the experiences of disabled students in higher education (i.e. college, university, etc.). It makes clear that current supports are not working as well as they could, and recommends that those with disabilities be involved in seeing things change. 

This forum is co-produced with the author of the report (i.e. Megan Hector), and one of its contributors (i.e. Mirika Flegg). Megan will share some of the findings and offer some information around submitting to inquiries. Mirika will talk about her own experiences of disability and education, and explore the links between activism and resilience. 

We will collectively discuss what a unified disability support pathway across ALL LEVELS of education may look like. This discussion is timely. On December 22, 2020, the Women and Equalities Committee released its “Fourth report: Unequal impact? Coronavirus, disability and access to services”. It highlighted systematic challenges with SEND provision and called for a complete restructuring of educational supports. The government’s forthcoming National Strategy for Disabled People is expected to spell out details. Let’s discuss. 

Megan Hector, Policy and Research Manager, Policy Connect
Mirika Flegg, PhD Student, Centre of Resilience for Social Justice, University of Brighton 


Megan Hector is a Policy and Research Manager in the Education and Skills team at Policy Connect, a not-for-profit, cross-party think tank. Megan was the lead researcher on the ‘Inquiry into the experiences of disabled people in Higher Education’ and is an advocate for the inclusion of citizen voice in research and public policy. Before joining Policy Connect, Megan spent a year and a half working in employability and skills in local government, and before that completed an MSc in Gender, Policy and Inequalities at LSE.

Mirika Flegg is a disability advocate and PhD Student, at the Centre of Resilience for Social Justice at the University of Brighton. She is a Boingboing volunteer and a co-leader of the Resilience Revolution. Her research focuses on the use of participatory and inclusive methods around the topic of resilience.  She loves solving complex problems, especially in collaboration with young people and adults facing additional challenges.

Who might be most interested 
This unique forum seeks to bring together students (of all ages), educators, carers, academics, community workers, policy makers and all those with a passion to see individuals with a disability succeed in education. 

Useful Reading

Hector, M. (October, 2020). Arriving at thriving: learning from disabled students to ensure access for all. Policy Connect and the Higher Education Commission report. 

Women and Equalities Committee (December 22, 2020). ‘Easy Read: Unequal impact? Coronavirus, disability and access to services’, Full Report.

Jargon busting terms

Higher Education: The type of schooling you do after you finish high school in places like further education colleges and universities. 

Higher Education Institute (HEI): The type of organisation that offers schooling to people after they have finished high school.  This could be a physical university, a college or an online provider. 

Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND): This is a term that is used by the primary and secondary education systems in the UK.  It refers to students that may have additional needs because of all types of disabilitie and learning differences.  It can also refer to those whose learning is disadvantaged in some way by things that have happened in their lives, like being taken into government care.  When people talk about ‘SEND provisions’ they are talking about the types of supports we put in place for these students. 

Access Information  The forum will be held online on Microsoft Teams. Please arrive in the online platform 5 minutes prior.  An email with instructions will be sent out the day before the event. We have chosen this platform as it appears to be more secure and transparent in its data practices than many others. Please see our privacy statement for more information about Microsoft Teams terms and conditions.

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The Resilience Forum is for ANYBODY (with a pulse!) involved with or interested in resilience research

Previous Resilience Forums

Previous Resilience Forums

You can find information about our previous Resilience Forums in Brighton, Blackpool, Hastings and online here. Many of our previous Resilience Forums and Centre meetings have slides you can download, blogs you can read, or short films you can watch.

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