Preparing for university open days can be an exciting but also overwhelming experience for any student, and this can be especially true for disabled students. In this blog post, we will discuss some tips for preparing for university open days as a prospective disabled student.
1. Share any accessibility requirements
Whether you have a physical impairment, are neurodivergent (dyslexic and autistic spectra), or have a mental health condition and/or long-term health condition, it is important to let the universities know if you have any accessibility requirements.
This may include access to accessible formats of information, sign language interpreters or access to a quiet room.
Most universities will be happy to accommodate these needs, but it is important to make contact with the open day organisers in advance of the open day to discuss your requirements. This could include arranging a tour with a student guide who is trained to support disabled students or requesting additional time to explore the campus.
2. Speak to the Disability or Well-being Team
There will be specialist staff on hand at the university to support and help you make the most of your open day experience.
Most universities now have dedicated disability or well-being support services, which can provide information and support to disabled students. These services may be able to offer tours of the campus, provide information about facilities and support for disabled students, and answer any questions you may have. You could always request to speak to current disabled students too!
Remember, universities are committed to making their campuses accessible and welcoming to all students, so don’t be afraid to ask for support if you need it.
3. Take someone with you
All students have the option of taking a friend of family member along with them to an open day. Go with someone who knows you well, it may be useful to get a second opinion. Plus, they can help you remember important information, take notes and remind you of things that are important to you.
4. Make the most of your visit
Attending an open day is an opportunity to gain real insight into university life. To get the most out of your day, it is worth doing some preparation in advance and planning your visit. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, this will allow you to work out if the university is the right one for you.
Make the most of your visit by speaking to current students, attending presentations, and visiting the facilities that interest you.
UCAS has put together a helpful Open Days Checklist to get you started.
It is also worth taking the opportunity to speak to disability or well-being support staff, who can provide more information about the services and support available to disabled students at the university. Some universities will also have disabled student ambassadors, who can give you a real insight into student life.
KMPF’s SEND ambassadors have put together this helpful overview of Open Day questions Questions for Open Events they wish they had asked.
Check out CXK’s Are You Open Day Ready? poster for some ‘killer questions’ to ask on the day.
In conclusion, with a little planning ahead and making the most of the support available, you can have a successful and enjoyable open day experience