About the author

Disability is not a choice - inclusive teaching is

Val Chapman
University of Worcester
United Kingdom

Val Chapman (PhD, MSc, Cert Ed, Dip RSA [SpLD]) is Director of the Centre for Inclusive Learning Support at the University of Worcester (UW). Her work in the area of Disability/Equal Opportunities in Higher Education (HE) was recognised in 2004 by the award of a National Teaching Fellowship, and in 2005 by the designation of her Centre as a partner in the LearnHigher Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (one of 16 HE partners). From September, 2006 to 2007, she held a UNESCO funded Chair in Special Education at Qatar University alongside her UW responsibilities.

In addition to her University roles, Val has been employed by the Quality Assurance Agency as a Subject Reviewer and Institutional Auditor. She was the Standing Conference of Principles (SCOP) representative on the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) SLDD (Students with Learning Difficulties and Disabilities) Advisory Group, and sat on the Disability Rights Commission’s Post 16 Reference Group advising on the development of the Code of Practice for the Disability Discrimination Act. She is currently on the steering group of the Higher Education Equal Opportunities Network (formerly chair, vice chair and treasurer), in addition she is a member of HEFCE’s Leadership Foundation in Higher Education Diversity Advisory Group and of the Higher Education Academy’s (HEA) Disability Special Interest Group.

Val has undertaken a variety of consultancy work within the Higher Education sector, for charitable organisations and for public authorities such as the Learning and Skills Council. She also has extensive project management experience having succeeded in competitive bidding for external project funding in the UK and Europe - in excess of £1,400,000 since 1998. Since February 2009, having successfully bid for NTFS funding, Val is acting as the Principal Investigator on a two year project , ‘Employability and Disability’.

Val has published in a range of books, academic journals and newsletters. She has presented at numerous conferences, frequently as an invited speaker, both in the UK and overseas including, for example, South Africa, Australia, Qatar, Israel, Canada and Greece, West Germany, Belgium, Spain and Poland.