Senior Disability Support Assistant
The role holder will be a member of the Disability Support Team working within the Disability Support Centre with a focus on providing integrated information, advice and support to disabled students and prospective students leading to successful progression, qualification completion and customer satisfaction. The key duties are:
a. To provide proactive disability support to disabled students and potential students resident in England to maximise student success. To also act as an initial point of contact for reactive queries and requests for advice and support received via a variety of channels.
b. Where necessary to refer on to other staff with specialist expertise, particularly within the Disability Support Centre and Disability Champions in SSTs, as part of the Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) model; making interactions with The Open University as effortless and seamless as possible.
c. To concentrate on the delivery of expert disability advice and support with a focus on building relationships with a particular Student Support Team (SST) through the SST Disability Champion(s) and one or more team(s) within the Disability Support Centre.
1. To provide complex disability related advice and support to students and potential students through both proactive and reactive contact via a number of channels including inbound and outbound phone calls, emails, letters, online webchat, online forums and social media, and face to face:
- Act as the first point of referral, including via hot transfers and pre-booked appointments, for disabled students and potential students requiring complex advice and information, using judgement and expertise to assess queries and ensure that guidance needs are identified and addressed, referring on particularly within the Disability Support Centre or to Disability Champions in SSTs where appropriate.
- Advice provision will concentrate on, but not be limited to, a specific area of disability support provided by one of the teams within the Disability Support Centre as well as being aligned with one or more curriculum (SST) area(s)
- Undertake student disability profiling
- Provide information and advice to DSA and non-DSA-eligible students on equipment schemes and non-medical support
- Provide information and advice to students receiving DSA funding through Student Finance England/ Wales
- Generic disability advice provision will also be required, using judgement and expertise as well as reference to standard operating procedures and policies, informed by use of a knowledge management system as well as briefings, training events, use of databases and printed material to access accurate and up to date information and advice.
2. To undertake associated administrative and operational processes to requests from disabled students and potential students:
- Accurately record and maintain student and potential student details on university systems and databases.
- Ensure all work is carried out to required standards.
- Ensure that complex guidance needs and issues are identified and met, referring/transferring calls appropriately and effectively to other specialist staff as part of an Information Advice and Guidance model.
- Where appropriate or necessary, book follow up appointments for those specialists at times convenient to students and potential students.
3. To work as part of a flexible operation to provide support and answer queries from disabled students and potential students within agreed timescales. To work to a rota as part of a Work Force Management System to ensure that all activity is dealt with promptly and effectively and within agreed Service Levels:
- Participate actively in the achievement of agreed service standards
- Contribute to the regular monitoring and review of these standards
- Exercise judgement in dealing with complex issues, interpreting and applying guidelines with initiative whilst operating within defined boundaries.
4. To assist proactively in the development and continuous improvement of good internal and inter team working and service provision:
- Attending and actively participating in team meetings and developmental activities
- Contributing to business improvement ideas and initiatives, making recommendations to Managers as appropriate.
- Showing initiative in helping the team to run smoothly and working with and supporting other teams as required
- Engage actively in the support and development of new team members.
- Contribute to the development of effective team delivery relating to IAG.
- Undertaking other activities as directed by the Disability Support Centre Management.
5. To continually develop skills and knowledge to maintain and improve personal performance in the spirit of continuous improvement and to adopt correct and evolving business practices and procedures:
- Undertaking all duties in accordance with internal policy and external legislation.
- Working with the Management of the Disability Support Centre to understand personal performance and areas for development.
- Providing feedback to contribute to colleagues' performance development
- Accepting feedback from colleagues to improve personal skills and knowledge.