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Accessibility and Disability Resource Centre

ADRC
 

Student Support Document/CamSIS project

Overview

In June this year (2021), the Accessibility and Disability Resource Centre (ADRC) and the UIS CamSIS team started a long-planned project (which began as an Our Cambridge initiative) to develop functionality to improve the identification and communication of access requirements and reasonable adjustments for disabled students. Amongst many features, we are planning to enable the more secure and efficient distribution of Student Support Documents (SSDs) to College and Department Administrators and to give academic and support staff the ability to securely access SSDs by placing the document within the student’s CamSIS record.  There is also an aspiration to enable students to submit information and support requests electronically and ultimately to move away from a 'paper' SSD document altogether. This work will be delivered in stages with the first stage being released on the 16th of November 2021 when we will enable ADRC to securely deliver SSD documents to College and Department administrators via CamSIS.

Why do we need this project?

The current SSD process was developed at a time (2010) when disabled students numbered around 1000 and represented around 7% of the total student population. The total number of disabled students stands in October 2021 at over 4300, which is over 18% of the total student population. This increase in disabled student numbers over this period has placed extreme pressure on the process which is increasingly ineffective due to the resources required to manage the volume of documents to be distributed. The current method of distribution also relies on a ‘push’ model where documents are sent by password protected emails to identified individuals (which requires a constant updating of a network of contacts across the collegiate University).  A ‘pull' system where those who require access to the documents could access from a central source (the student’s CamSIS record) presents the opportunity for significant process efficiencies and savings. The dissemination of support information regarding disabled students and the provision of access requirements and reasonable adjustments is a statutory duty and so this is a core priority. A Cambridge Students’ Union report in 2019 found that a large proportion of SSDs had not been seen or read by staff working with them.

What are the benefits of doing this?

A centralised repository for SSDs will save time and money for the ADRC, for all departments and faculties, for all Colleges and for the Registry’s Exams team, by radically reducing the time required to distribute the documents, and by removing the complexity from the process. It will also improve quality and experience for students and it will help mitigate risk by ensuring that SSDs are held on the student’s CamSIS record where they can be easily located and read. The current process relies on sensitive & personal confidential information being sent by email, and as the distribution process can be complex there is a risk that the recommendations for disabled students not reaching the staff who need to see and act on them. The potential cost and time savings, given the extent and scope of the process which reaches every department and college are considerable (estimated at over £0.5 Million over ten years).

This page will be regularly updated with information on the progress of the project and on the plans for future phases as that information becomes available.

Further information on the project is available in this short presentation 

If you have any questions, please contact the project team at ssdproject@admin.cam.ac.uk

Where are we now?

Phase 1a to 3a

Frequently Asked Questions: FAQs

What will be developed in future phases?

Future phases for this project will include work on SSD access for Student Self Service, Cohort Summaries for colleges and departments, SSD link to EEA functionality, additional CamSIS roles for college and department wellbeing staff, access to SSDs for central offices like Student Registry, University Libraries, Central University Wellbeing Team, and Institute of Continuing Education.

Who can access SSDs within CamSIS?

From the 17th of May 2022 College and Department Administrators, Principal Supervisors for postgraduate students, College Tutors, College Graduate Tutors and Directors of Studies can view and download SSD documents from CamSIS. Please note that students and other staff members within your organisation will not have access to view SSDs via CamSIS just yet meaning that you will still need to download and distribute these internally within your organisation. Later within the project we will extend access to other users to reduce the distribution.

How do I distribute SSDs from CamSIS?

Where possible, it is preferable to distribute the SSD without the use of email. Many departments and colleges have their own ways of sharing SSDs with those who need to see them. Whatever method you decide to use please ensure it is secure and we recommend that you visit Information Security Risk Assessment page for more information about protecting sensitive personal data.

How will academics know there is a new SSD?

Principal Supervisors for postgraduate students, College Tutors, College Graduate Tutors and Directors of Studies who are directly linked to a student on CamSIS will receive an email notification and will have a to-do item generated on their Academic Self Service.

Where can I find information for academics on how to access SSD?

Information can be found on CamSIS Moodle site.

Where can I find information for administrators on how SSD functionality works?

Information can be found on CamSIS Moodle site.

Do we still need to circulate SSDs to undergraduate supervisors, librarians, lab technicians, welfare officers etc

Yes, continue doing this the way you used to.

Do I now need to password protect SSDs? 

No, as documents are held on CamSIS, there is no need to password protect unless you are sending them by email.

How do I find SSDs for students on a specific course?

You can use the Sort button in the top right part of the 'All student support record' page.

How will I know there is a new SSD I need to look at?

You will be alerted by email and SSD will also be available on your 'Documents not yet seen' page under the Student Support Record tile.

Should the college or department be deleting local copies of SSDs after 6 years?

Yes.

Can we find students with SSDs using CamSIS Search?

Not at the moment.

If I mark SSD as 'seen' will it disappear from 'Documents not yet seen' page for my colleagues?

Yes, it will disappear from your college or department 'Documents not yet seen' page. However, SSD still can be found via 'All student support record' or ‘Student support record’ pages.

How do I find SSDs for my current students sent by ADRC before 16th November 2021?

You can find them on 'All student support record' or ‘Student support record’ pages.

How do I find out who marked SSD as 'seen' on CamSIS?

You can see this on main Student Support Document page by clicking ‘Seen by’ button.