Welcome to the Disabled Students Group

Any student who considers themselves and/or their studies to be affected by a physical, mental or neurodivergent condition or disability can become a DSG member

Hello! We’re the Disabled Students Group.
A support group run for disabled students by disabled student volunteers.
We are celebrating our 20th year in 2023, watch this space…

‘Disability’ is diverse!

Any student who considers themselves and/or their studies to be affected by a physical, mental or neurodivergent condition or disability can become a DSG member, regardless of whether they have disclosed it to the university.
What do we do?

We offer support and community to our members through our social media platforms and drop-in events. You can email us at dsg@open.ac.uk with any issues relating to accessibility during your studies. Our most frequent enquiries are about DSA and Student Finance, accessing support from the OU, studying with a disability and issues related to alternative formats and module materials. You can find answers to many of these questions on our forum here. Alternatively, if you can’t find what you’re looking for you can create your own thread where the committee and our members will do their best to help you.

Join us for access to our members-only Facebook group and reminders for our monthly drop-ins, held on the last Friday of every month between 5:00 and 6:30pm. These are completely informal laidback meetings on Microsoft Teams where you can use your microphone and camera as much or as little as you want, or not at all!

We strive to make our events and everything we do as accessible as possible in the spirit of inclusion. If you have any questions or worries about attending, please email us and we will do our best to accommodate you – the group is yours and we are here for you.

Meet the Committee…

Acting Chair: Becca Phoenix

Becca is 24 and lives in Cardiff, Wales. She is studying part-time for a BA in Social Sciences and is passionate about Neurodiversity and social justice.

In her spare time, she enjoys playing video games and spending time with her boyfriend. Before becoming Acting Chair, she was the Events and Communications Officer for the group which she thoroughly enjoyed and continues to host monthly drop-ins alongside the other committee members.

No photo description available.

Co-Secretary: Clare Charlton

Clare lives in North London with her husband, two dogs and four guinea pigs. She is currently studying for an MA in Music. In her spare time, she enjoys playing instruments and computer games as well as spending time with her dogs, husband and mum going to galleries and museums.

Co-Secretary: Katie Hickmott

Katie has a passion for change in children and young people’s mental health and has been a social activist since 2017. She hopes to one day start her own campaign and youth advice service for young people to access and make a difference to their lives. In her spare time, she likes listening to music and has 4 hamsters called Biscuit, Destiny, Buttons and Simba.

A photo of Katie wearing a dark shirt and pink headphones, looking into the camera.s in the background.

Communications Officer: Jon Willis

Jon is 41 and currently studying for a BA in Computing & IT which he is mainly doing for his own personal gain, not for employment purposes. In his spare time, he loves motocross and has been racing since the age of 7. He also enjoys gardening, walking, reading, and computers.

Events Officer – Andrew Wilson

Andrew is 29 and started studying with the OU in January. He is currently working his way through a degree in Law. In his spare time, he enjoys watching boxing on the TV and going to the gym.

Nichola Connolly

Nichola is 48 years old and lives in Warrington, Cheshire. She is currently studying E309 and EK313 towards a BA Hons in Primary Education Studies and hopefully will graduate this year. In her spare time, she enjoys writing, reading, and spending time with her family and friends.

Hannah Burns

Hannah has been a member of the Disabled Students Group Committee since 2018. She enjoys offering support to other students as much as she can, especially through the Disabled Students Group Facebook page and the forums on the Open University website.

Felicity Burgess

Felicity began studying with the OU in 2012 and is currently registered on the BSc Public Health and Wellbeing. She has sat on the DSG committee for many years and lives in Oxford. In her free time, she likes listening to audiobooks and music, watching TV and playing computer games.

VP EDI: Natalie Baker

Natalie is the Vice President for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and therefore sits on the committee as an ex-officio member. She is currently studying for a BSc Psychology with Counselling degree and is a mom to two boys. In her free time, she spends time with them and her fiancé and enjoys crafting, upcycling and listening to true crime podcasts.

You can see our full bios and learn more about the Disabled Students Group on the Students Association website

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Becca Phoenix


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