The STAART initiative supports prospective and current students who have a disability; long-term health condition; specific learning difficulty; and/or mental health condition. Our support mechanisms prepare students for the reality of university for disabled students.

The STAART Team is a disability and diversity focused initiative at the University of Greenwich that was developed in partnership with Aimhigher.

The STAART Team provides information and guidance to disabled and diverse students who may not feel university is for them, or who have concerns about going to university. The team started in 2007 and continues to develop to meet the requirements of  disabled and diverse students.

What do we mean by 'disability and diversity'?

Disability and diversity includes the following:

  • A mental-health condition such as anxiety or depression
  • A specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia or dyspraxia
  • A developmental disorder such as autism or ADHD/ADD
  • A progressive medical condition such as Multiple Sclerosis, Cancer or HIV
  • A sensory impairment which could affect the ability to see or hear

The STAART Team works to a transformative model of widening access which views disabled and diverse students as positive assets. We also work to the affirmative model of disability which is different from the previous medical model of disability which had an emphasis on correcting the disability and/or viewing the individual as a tragedy. The STAART Team does not view disability as tragic, nor something to be ashamed of. All of us wear our uniforms and lanyards with pride and are happy to answer questions about how our disability, mental health difficulty and/or specific learning difficulty has impacted on our university education.

This is also why we use the term 'sharing' instead of disclosing or declaring our disability. Sharing is a much more positive term as disclosure or declaration suggests there is something to be ashamed/embarrassed about. We always recommend to the prospective and current students we work with to share their disability with their university. It is much easier to have support in place and not use it, rather than struggling without support which you are entitled to.

How could disabled and diverse students benefit from our assistance?

Going to university can be challenging for anyone: students move from a highly structured school or college environment to organising their own studies and social lives. For disabled and diverse university students, challenges can be more extensive, so preparation becomes even more important.

Our STAART ambassadors, university students with their own disability or diversity, provide balanced, first-hand experience of the achievements and challenges of university life.

STAART - Support through *AccessAbility retention and transition

University life can be challenging. Many new students are moving from a structured environment at home or at work, school or college to a situation where they will need to balance independent study with their other commitments and social lives. For disabled and diverse students, these challenges can be more extensive, so good preparation and organisation is important. With STAART, we support students through this transition.

There are several ways to access STAART support. Students can:

  • Follow our Facebook or Twitter accounts for news and information or to talk to us and fellow students
  • Attend a preparation and/or transition day before the start of term for a tour of the campus and library, and to meet our STAART Ambassadors.
  • Access to the STAART newsletters.
  • Talk to the STAART Ambassadors on the STAART desk at open days and applicant events.

Disabled and dyslexic students at the University of Greenwich and local disabled and dyslexic students (year 11 onwards) can join the team at any time.

STAART Social Channels

In addition to our support mechanisms on and off campus, we have a number of platforms to share our knowledge and experiences.

If you would like more information about disability and dyslexia and higher education, and what our STAART Ambassadors are doing, you can find out more by following our social channels:

University of Greenwich - STAART Facebook Group

The University of Greenwich - STAART Facebook page has a wide range of members, both here in the UK and abroad. The members are comprised of prospective and current disabled and dyslexic students; graduates; postgraduates; disability practitioners; charities; organisations; researchers; parents and allies. We use the page to share information, celebrate achievements and keep people up-to-date with what is happening in the world and post-compulsory education which may affect our members. Whilst anybody can view our pages, only members can post. To ensure the psychological and physical wellbeing of our members, all posts have to be approved before they can be posted. As an additional measure, all members abide by the STAART Netiquette Agreement which can be found below. If you are aged 16 and above, and are interested in our postings, you are welcome to join. You do not have to be a disabled student to join.

@GRE_STAART twitter

The University of Greenwich STAART Twitter account is similar to the Facebook group. However, the tweets tend to be more organisational/factual than personal.

WhatsApp

We also have a closed WhatsApp group restricted to University of Greenwich disabled students who are also members of STAART. This is by far the more personalised support mechanism and is a suitable platform for students to ask questions and/or support others. The members of the WhatsApp group also have to abide by the STAART Netiquette Agreement to maintain safeguarding. The conversations range from somebody not achieving the grades they were expecting to graduation photos. The group also use the WhatsApp group for arranging coffee meets and days out.

From May 2020, disabled students who are members of STAART and have accepted a place at Greenwich can join the WhatsApp group once we have received a copy of the confirmation. This will enable our incoming students to familiarise themselves with the university and provide the opportunity to engage with other current and applicant students.

STAART E-Newsletter

15 September 2019 was the date of our first ever e-newsletter. We opted for an e-newsletter due to how widespread our members are and to enable people from all over to contribute. The material within the newsletter is mostly original with a few referenced works available elsewhere. All STAART members are welcome to submit the following:

  • Art and craft work.
  • Poems and short essays.
  • Healthy eating.
  • Celebrations and achievements.
  • Advances in technology.
  • Where are they now?
  • Awareness raising events.

In addition to the actual content. The newsletter will endeavour to assign each of the articles and contributions to the Six Ways of Wellbeing - body, mind, spirit, people, place and care.

Download our e-newsletters (latest: January 2021)

STAART Facebook Netiquette (Updated August 2020)

  • Be kind.
  • Be respectful and courteous.
  • Please check your grammar and spelling.
  • Do not use sarcasm.
  • Do not put anything in an email you would not put on a postcard.
  • Be mindful of the tone of your message or how this tone could be interpreted by others.
  • Do not write anything you are not comfortable to share with the group and do not induce expectation on other group members to share anything they are not comfortable with doing so.
  • Respect different cultures and lifestyles.
  • If any concerns are raised, please use the report button and an administrator can assess your concern.
  • Please do not private message people in the group as this can cause anxiety. You can ask Melanie to pass on a message if need be and/or if it is appropriate to do so.
  • The Defamation Act 1996 states it is an offence to publish untrue statements which adversely affect the reputation of a person or group of persons and/or the University of Greenwich.
  • Facebook exchanges must not be used for the creation, retention or distribution of disruptive or offensive messages, images, materials or software that include offensive or abusive comments about ethnicity or nationality, gender, disabilities, age, sexual orientation, appearance, religious beliefs and practices, political beliefs or social background.

These guidelines have been modified from information provided by the University of Greenwich, Microsoft and the British Psychological Society.


Find out more

Read our testimonials

If you would like to know more about how we can benefit disabled and diverse students, please contact us:

Tel: 07931 226599
E-mail: staart@gre.ac.uk

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