One of Wave-lengths facilitators stated my aim is to make the session so engaging that the students forget what is going on outside the window, that they have a mobile phone in their pocket and that a break is soon to come up.
We have developed a programme that we can deliver that helps to inform students about equality and diversity in college life, within the wider community and in preparation for their future career. In addition where the environment allows we design the session specific to the tutor group, so we can adapt the sessions to accommodate for example engineering, catering or hair and beauty students.
One of our delivers said ‘that whilst not all the students ask questions they all seem to be engaged in the session, looking towards me and not out of the window, many ask quite enlightening questions demonstrating their immediate understanding of the issue’. We always measure the students on asking at the beginning if they understand how equality will impact on their future and some are honest in saying they do not know and then we ask the question again at the end with 100% positive acknowledgement of the need to know about equality and diversity and its impact.
We usually focus on Disability as this is our main specialism but we do have a much wider knowledge of equality and its impact on lives and careers and are happy to include any key areas identified by the college, this might perhaps include areas around stereotyping, a specific protective characteristic or perhaps a focus on an element of the law or social driver.
We recently delivered a programme of enrichment sessions for Telford College of Art and Technology (TCAT); this was focused primarily on the meaning of Equality and Diversity; stereotyping and the different ways that disability impact on the wider community and future careers. The sessions were delivered to approximately 300 students over 20 sessions so that we could alter the session for each tutor group. Alternatively In other colleges we have been part of the induction programme for all students, ensuring the session is engaging, hard hitting and often delivered within a 1 hour slot.
A student at the recent TCAT sessions summed up the learning probably better than we could ever do:
“I found everything useful because I used to judge people because people judged me and you helped me to be a nicer person, thank you, I hate being judged by other so why should I judge?”
If you would be interested in what we could offer your place of education then contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org. We do make a small charge but this is simply to cover basic costs of delivering as we are a not for profit organisation. The sessions are delivered by people who face equality challenges in their lives, whether through disability (including mental health), homelessness etc.