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Barry Gilbert

Senior Disability Officer – Student Services

Qualified Social Worker (CSS)


Barry started his working life as a nursing assistant in a home providing care and support to young men with Duchenne-type muscular dystrophy and, whilst there, qualified as a social worker. Barry then worked for a year with The Children’s Society as deputy manager in a home for young people with both physical impairments and learning disabilities, after which he spent 11 years with Bedfordshire County Council as deputy manager of a 35-place residential unit for adults with substantial degrees of physical impairment and a 17-place residential unit for young people with profound learning disabilities. From Bedfordshire County Council Barry moved to a major voluntary sector agency, spending eight years as area manager supporting 12 residential care homes for adults with learning disabilities. Looking for a change, Barry started to train as a counsellor and gained a level 4 certificate but did not complete the diploma level for personal reasons and began work at Southampton University as a needs assessor, carrying out assessments of need for students in Higher Education with a range of disabilities, identifying equipment, software and support intended to minimise the effects of their disabilities on study.  He took up his current role at The Arts University Bournemouth in 2011. 

Professional practice

As Senior Disability Officer, Barry offers support and advice to students, staff and other relevant stakeholders on disability-related issues from the point of first contact with the university through to graduation.

Professional memberships

  • National Association of Disability Practitioners (NADP) (2011–Current)
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