We had been using Manual paper systems for years, just like everyone else. We heard at a conference of the National Association of Disability Practitioners (www.NADP-uk.org) that we could give better service by reducing paper handling and using a Student Disability CRM system from the StudentRelate people (www.StudentRelate.co.uk). It was a database that allowed us to share data and manage student relationships better than ever before.
We had been using Excel for doing the arithmetic work of preparing reports but it took a huge amount of time to get the data from the student's paper files. It was a matter of getting files out of the filing cabinet, reading the details, putting them into categories then by counting the piles of files to get the statistics to put into Excel. When this was completed it was then an hour or two putting the files back. Some reports took days!
It was clear that having student data on the screen was the best way to share it and have it available to any member of the team, and thereby give a better service. As you deal with each student, you need to keep track of what has been said so that a colleague can get the background before offering help to an individual in the future.
We found by asking around and using the JISC Forum that everybody using the StudentRelate system was really happy with it so we invited them in. After implementing and customising the student disability CRM system to the way we work were able to transfer administrative resource and provide more time for students with our disability support workers. The system has paid for itself many times over.