About the toolkit

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Welcome to the Inclusivity Toolkit

This toolkit is a gateway to useful links, information and advice to help staff make teaching and services more accessible to everyone.  In keeping with our University strategy and values, we want to ensure that all students are able to reach their aspirations during their time at the University.  Teaching staff have a vital role to play in ensuring equal opportunity for all and one of the ways staff can support ALL students is to embed practices into their teaching which reduce the need for individual students to request ‘reasonable adjustments’.  This toolkit enables staff to do this by providing practical tips that can easily become part of your regular practice.  Of course this will need to be done alongside a range of other practices that enhance inclusive learning and teaching (such as addressing curriculum design). You will find links to other organisations here that will support you to continually develop embedding inclusivity in these other areas.

Advance HE has published a range of case studies that provide insight into inclusive teaching and learning initiatives at several universities, from holding mental health awareness events to expanding the provision of hearing loops. Read on here: Reasonable adjustments and inclusive education environments.

A few notes of caution about the toolkit…

  • This toolkit will never be complete or 100% up to date, our knowledge is ever expanding and diagnoses/terms used change over time.  Please use the links to other organisations or come and ask your friendly Disability & Inclusion Advice Service (DIAS) for the latest advice if it is a critical matter.
  • Individuals are unique; therefore when you are supporting a specific student – please regard them as the expert on their disability (that is – ask them!).
  • You have valuable experience and knowledge too!  Please share anything you think might be useful by sending it to the Inclusion Coordinator at disability@marjon.ac.uk using ‘Inclusivity Toolkit’ in the subject heading.
  • If you need to have an urgent conversation with a student about their disability/other issue and you haven’t time to check here or online, you won’t go far wrong if you remember the golden rules: keep calm, be respectful and listen! Easy eh?!

Please go to the home page for printable resources and for information on working with students with specific disabilities.

Definition of inclusion

The Oxford English dictionary[1] defines inclusion as:-

The action or state of including or of being included within a group or structure.

‘they have been selected for inclusion in the scheme’.


A person or thing that is included within a whole.

‘The exhibition features such inclusions as the study of the little girl’

Inclusive learning and teaching can be defined in various ways, however the HE Academy (now part of the Advance HE organisation encompassing the Equality Challenge Unit), has used the following definition in their guide to Inclusive Learning and Teaching in Higher Education in 2010[2]:-

“The research synthesis defines inclusive learning and teaching as the ways in which pedagogy, curriculum and assessment are designed and delivered to engage students in learning that is meaningful, relevant and accessible to all. It embraces a view that diversity stems from individual differences that can enrich the lives and learning of others.”

[1] https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/inclusion
[2] Inclusive Learning and Teaching in Higher Education by Liz Thomas and Helen May, 2010, pg 9, definition based on research carried out by Professor Christine Hockings, University of Wolverhampton